02 June 2009

The Contract

by Brett Hoffmann

Penguin Group. Australian, Adult crime, Mystery. Paperback rrp $32.95

What makes Wall Street bankers run for their lives after finding a 40 year old contract? What could an old contract possibly contain that could jeopardise the lives of everyone who has had even the slightest contact with it? From its contents, Australian Stella Sartori can’t tell but she soon realises that someone wants it destroyed. And they want all who have laid eyes on it to “disappear”. Will she be next?

Stella has been assigned to assess a company take-over for a client. It’s what she excels at. But this time there is something strange about one company, Kradel, wanting to buy another company, CMS, that has nothing to offer. When she is given an old contract in CMS’ archives Stella finds an old letter and a secret which might even ruin a national image. Now her life is in danger and she needs to disappear and try to decipher the letter’s meaning.

Fellow Australian Jack Rogers is sent in to fix the mess that Stella has left behind but he soon realises that it is Stella, and not the company, that need his help. Can two Wall Street bankers outsmart the mafia and the FBI? And what is the Virgin’s Secret? See if you can guess. I certainly couldn’t.

Using typical words to describe The Contract such as ‘fast-paced’, ‘action-packed’, ‘edge-of-your-seat’ is all I can think of because they fit so perfectly. I read over 470 pages in a day and a half! This is Hoffman’s first novel and if he keeps writing like this it won’t be long before he has a huge fan base! You heard it here first – that makes me number one fan!

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