Company Man

 by JOSEPH FINDER

This is a great read. It starts slowly and steadily, and continually, builds tension to an unput-downable conclusion.

There are four strands to the story. Nick Conover, the CEO of Strattons, recently oversaw the sale of the Company to private equity investors. This lead to him having to lay-off about half the workforce, making him very unpopular in the town. There is a murder early in the book, an act that becomes the pivot around which the story evolves. Meanwhile there are things happening at the Company that Nick doesn’t know about. A widower, Nick takes up with a woman affected by the lay-offs who tells him “things aren’t what you see”. Finally, a local detective investigating the shooting is getting closer to the truth. As the story progresses all these threads become skilfully interwoven.

There is plenty of dramatic irony for the reader, and this cleverly raises the stakes. Bit by bit new facts are discovered, the main character’s true natures are laid bare as their public persona is peeled away, and Nick’s teenage son has issues. The tension mounts as Nick’s life seems to be a collision course in a number of directions.

The conclusion is neat, satisfactory and realistic. Trouble was – that was the end.