The Domino Effect, by Davis Bunn (Bethany House, 2016)
Risk analysis. Esther Larson excels at it in her position with a major US financial institution. But if her personal projections are right, the global economy is teetering on the brink of disaster. There are too many high-level trades that skirt just past the safety restrictions.
The fear of economic disaster is something many North Americans live with, and The Domino Effect catches our imaginations with its horrifying “what if” that could conceivably play out in our real-life near future.
As the plot builds and Esther risks revealing her fears, she moves from feeling afraid yet helpless and alone to choosing to do even the small amount she can – and finding out she’s not alone. That’s a message many readers will appreciate.
If financial thrillers don’t appeal to you, check this one out anyway. I confess I skimmed the technical details (although Esther does a good job of translating her concerns into everyday language) but this is a novel with heart.
Breaching her isolation brings Esther into contact with single dad Craig Wessex and his struggling daughters, Samantha and Abigail. Esther’s work with the girls helps her process her grief over her brother’s apparently-permanent injury as well as her childhood grief over her parents’ deaths.
This is also a novel with villains playing for high stakes. And it builds to a suitably tense conclusion. Numbers may be dry, but imminent disaster is most definitely not. The final pages of this one sent a chill across my scalp and some mist to my eyes.
Beneath his mild-mannered exterior beat the soul of a cautious assassin. [p. 88]
The sight was so jarring, the images did not want to fit together. [p. 196]
Davis Bunn has a reputation for accurate research, and he includes quotes from accredited sources endorsing the novel. A combination of plausible danger and characters worth caring about makes this a compelling read.
Davis Bunn is a multi-published, multi-award-winning author of Christian fiction. He also writes fantasy and science fiction as Thomas Locke. For more about the author and his books, visit sites.kensingtonbooks.com/DAVISBUNNBOOKS.