Hammond Aerospace is in an uncomfortable position – Cheryl Tobin has taken over as CEO from James Rawlings, who had recently died from a heart attack. She was brought in from Boeing to clean up shop, and to find out who would be taking the company for a ride, embezzling from them or cause a multimillion dollar scandal in the future. Cocky Jake Landry, from the lower echelons, is summoned to meet with Hank Bodine, executive vice president of Hammond Aerospace and President of the Commercial Airplanes Division. Jake doesn’t know what to make of it when he is informed that he will be joining the annual leadership retreat… he was going offsite with the big cats.
Jake hurries to leave with the rest of the higher ups in the company, but finds out that his ex-girlfriend Alison Hillman is now working for Cheryl. The shocks sets him back a bit, but he will get over it. Meanwhile, he has been tasked in finding out why the new Eerospatiale plane crashed at the Paris Air Show. Bodine is also suspicious as to how a nobody like Landry made it onto the list for the retreat, even though Landry has explained it is due to his boss Mike Zorn being unavailable. On the flight to the retreat in Canada, Ali slips Landry a note to meet with her and Cheryl. Landry is peeved to learn that Cheryl is investigating many of the men that are on the retreat, and technically, no matter how she phrases her request, wants Landry to be her lapdog and spy for her.
Against his better judgement, Landry opens his ears up to anything that might be said, and is roomed with the diabetic Geoff Latimer, Cheryl’s right hand man. Unimpressed with how everything is going, Landry tries to see the endgame, seeing as neither Cheryl nor Hank are being honest with him. Their first official dinner starts, and in the middle of a very publicised yet underhanded attack something goes terribly wrong – a “hunter” drops into their festivities and intrudes terribly. At first some of the bigwigs attempt to have the man shown out, but soon it becomes evident that he is there for a far more sinister purpose. Five intruders have taken over the very remote lodge and they have guns and are taking their things. It is assumed that all they stumbled on was a chance get-rich-quick dinner, but soon there is a demand that begs for more: a hundred million dollars needs to be transferred to one of their offshore accounts.
The longer Landry watches the five hostage-takers, the more he becomes convinced that this was not a chance meeting. These men came in with a plan. They had staked out the lodge, they knew when the Hammond Aerospace party was arriving as well as exactly how much money they could get their hands on and how the procedures work. However, none of them are wearing masks, and this does not bode well for the hostages. Unfortunately, the men seem to be terrified when taken out of the corporate arena, and it appears that it will fall to Landry and his sketchy past to save all the people. What do the men really want? What lengths will they go to to get it? Who are these men? How are they so well-advised? Is there an insider at Hammond Aerospace that has been feeding them information? Will the group ever make it out alive?
It was a decent book to fill the time with, but it was definitely not a great book. There was truly nothing original about it, and I didn’t like the way the book jumped from the present and the current situation to the terribly past that Landry had, though on the other hand that was the only reason he had more character and worth than the other characters from the book. I think maybe it was that there was simply too many of them, and none of them mean anything to you and grow on you. I thought the concept was alright, though I knew what was coming, but it fell flat pretty fast. This is the second time I have read this book (the first time was many years ago), but nothing has changed. It was not particularly gripping, had not characters that you were rooting for, a lot of crazy things were going down although they were not particularly interesting. It seemed that Finder has a distinct bitterness and resentment towards money and it really got wearing eventually. It isn’t a bad book though it is rather bland, but it is a nice and quick read. There was so much more that could have been done. Most of the characters and anything about them was forgettable and not really well built up, and they do not seem real. You are aware the whole way through that it is just a book and you know exactly how it is going to play out. There was no twist to save it, either. I am not particularly enamoured with Finder’s writing style, and cannot see myself going out of my way to read his other work unless someone has a specific recommendation.