The Signatory, Stuart Black

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

THE SIGNATORY is a thriller set in and around an Australian advertising agency, leaving this reviewer wondering if there's an argument that crime fiction set in the corporate / business world is under-represented. On the face of it, perhaps an unlikely setting, but then again, there are more than reasons to think that there's villainy in day to day business, even if its not strictly illegal.

The story of THE SIGNATORY revolves around Sam Pride - who has just sold his start-up company to a US conglomerate for large piles of money. His life is looking good - young, married to the love of his life, good times look to be ahead for Sam. Until his CFO is taken hostage by a ruthless criminal demanding a very specific document in exchange for his life, followed by a brutal murder. Sam quickly finds he and his family are at risk, as he's drawn deeper and deeper into corporate espionage, and a powerful group of faceless conspirators connected to the company that just bought them out. 

This thriller, which moves setting between Australia and the US, is very much a "who can you trust?" story. The setup does take a while to get moving, and there are quite a few characters introduced in the early stages that readers might find they have to really pay attention to keep track of. Once the threats to Sam and those he loves fire up, the action is taut and rapid paced, delivered with a lot of twists and turns. There's unexpected betrayals aplenty and some very unexpected complications for an ad exec like Sam to have to deal with. Deal he does, in a low-key, overtly Australian, "whatever" sort of manner.

Definitely one for fans of thriller styled fiction, THE SIGNATORY could end up giving readers a very different view of the corporate world (or not). It definitely will provide some very rapid, and quite engaging entertainment regardless of whether it's dispelling, or reinforcing, those previously held views.

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Year of Publication

After selling his start-up business, Sam has the kind of money only dreams are made of. Young, and married to the love of his life, it’s time for Sam to enjoy his good fortune.

That is, until Sam’s Chief Financial Officer is taken hostage by a ruthless criminal demanding a document in his possession. A brutal murder follows, Sam is the prime suspect, and soon he and his wife, Lauren, are on the run from both the police and a faceless network of conspirators somehow connected to the company they just bought out.

In a fight for survival, you need to know who to trust. And when it’s no longer the company you work for, and your best friend is dead, who do you turn to?

Review The Signatory, Stuart Black
Karen Chisholm
Tuesday, May 2, 2023

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