A Book Spy Review: ‘The Shadow List’ by Todd Moss

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The all-too-familiar email scam is no laughing matter for Jason Saunders, who quickly finds himself in a dangerous situation upon opening what he thought to be a harmless letter. 

We’ve all gotten them. Promises of large cash for doing next to nothing. Anyone who receives emails has encountered one of the many ridiculous scams floating around on the web. Most people find them to be so unbelievable that their spam mail is sent straight to the trash bin without a hint of curiosity. But for Jason Saunders, an employee of a prominent financial firm, this isn’t the case.

Sitting in his office, Saunders opens a letter from an individual who claims to represent a firm that’s been “designated by the Bank of England as a probate agent for uncovered funds from the Special Court of International Assets.” The email then goes on to state that the Court has deemed the $1,985,900,000 discovered in an offshore bank account of a foreign dictator must be held “by firms in two different sovereign jurisdictions,” as per the legal requirements. 

The letter contains plenty of verbiage about banking regulations laws and, at first glance, appears to be half-way legit. What seals the deal for Saunders, though, is that the letter also references a prior situation his firm handled regarding Turkish bond trades. It ends by claiming that, if chosen by the Court, Saunder’s firm could collect about 4.00% of the total for “management fees,” according to banking regulations. That’s a profit of about eighty million bucks, which is enough for anyone to hope that the deal is the real thing.  

The Turkish bond trading situation was private, which meant whoever sent the letter knew what they were talking about and it wasn’t just some mass-produced letter sent to everyone.

It was, in fact, sent specifically to and for Saunders–that part was true. 

Just not for the reason he hoped. 

After Saunders goes missing in London, Judd Ryker, the head of the State Department’s Crisis Reaction Unit, is sent to Nigeria–where the letter originated from–to investigate. There, he encounters far more than he bargained for, as Todd Moss pulls back the curtain on the international free-money scam that, unbelievably, is one of the largest organized crime rackets in the world. 

In another storyline, Judd’s CIA agent wife, Jessica Ryker, is assigned to an operation looking into a ruthless Russian mobster known as the Bear. Jessica’s scenes are some of the most entertaining and hard-hitting pages in Todd Moss’ terrific new thriller, enriched by a diverse cast of colorful characters and a smart plot. 

Readers looking for something different from the overplayed assassin-saves-the-world-from-nuclear-destruction plot will love Todd Moss’ latest sneaky-good novel. The Shadow List is a top-notch thriller that offers up an exciting, fast-paced story that’s both unique and very well-written.

Book Details

Author: Todd Moss
Series: Judd Ryker #4
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0399175946
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 7/10
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