It’s New Year’s Eve at the Jefferson Club, a luxurious private ski resort in the mountains of southwestern Montana. Seven of the world’s wealthiest men and a U.S. Senator are among the guests gathered in the ballroom of the club’s spectacular main lodge for a private party.
Expensive champagne flows and multi-billion dollar deals are getting done, when, at the stroke of midnight, a ruthless and well-armed militia attacks the club. Self-described anti-globalists, they intend to to put the wealthy patrons of the club on trial for crimes against humanity, live on the Internet for all the world to see.
As the first trial unfolds, it becomes a new-media sensation, with tens of millions of viewers who are allowed to vote as jury members. It seems harmless, funny, until one of the tycoons is convicted and put to death just as stock and bond trading opens for the New Year. The markets are rocked by the execution, and start to plummet as more of the billionaires are put on trial.
The only people who can prevent an outright market crash, stop the madness, and uncover the true reasons behind the brutal attack are Mickey Hennessy, the club’s director of security, his three fourteen-year-old children and Cheyenne O’Neil, an FBI financial crimes specialist.
Ultimately capitalism and anti-globalism collide with stunning consequences in a searing narrative that’s a lean blend of suspense, dark humor and explosive action, as well as a novel that raises compelling questions about who the real criminals are in a world where financial markets can be manipulated on an unfathomable scale and a powerful few profit at the expense of the many.
"Triple Cross is a smart, prescient thriller that makes one wonder why the bottom really dropped out of the stock market. The story snaps and twists like a cracking whip, you can’t help rooting for Mickey Hennessy and his kids, and I defy you to guess the ending. Sullivan has written a super-charged bestseller and surefire motion picture!"
"...if you're watching your real-life stocks tank because of the real-life greed of some investment bankers and mortgage brokers, you might take a malicious pleasure in sitting down with 'Triple Cross' for the fictional payback."
-St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"...a scathing indictment of corrupt politicians and unscrupulous Wall Street kings..."
-Bozeman Daily Chronicle
"...a page turner of the first order, a tale that will get the blood pumping and keep it that way."
"...Sullivan delivers a slam-banger. The novel cries out to be a movie. In today's economy, many a reader might root for the bad guys against the greedy hostages."
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
"'Triple Cross' could have been pulled straight from today’s headlines about corporate greed and financial market manipulation."
-Helena Independent Record
"…tense, compelling and thought-provoking with razor-sharp detail and taut writing."
Mark finished the final draft of Triple Cross nine months before the Wall Street meltdown, eleven months before terrorists seized two luxury hotels in Mumbai, India, and twelve months before the Bernie Madoff investment scandal came to light.
In the novel, Mark details financial techniques used by many high-stakes investors like Madoff before the real market crash of 2008 and paints a portrait of how vast fortunes can be made – or lost – with a brutal kidnapping and the click of a computer mouse.
Mark started his career as a financial reporter for Reuters in Chicago, and then worked as a political reporter with a financial focus in Washington D.C. before shifting into full-time investigative reporting in California.
He admits openly he’s no economic genius, but based on his early experiences as a journalist coupled with research that he started in 2005, Mark came to believe that there were excesses going on Wall Street that could buckle the U.S. financial markets.
“I also became convinced that it was entirely possible to manipulate the markets,” Mark says. “I found a group of high financiers who agreed to help me “game” the market events described in the book. At the time several of them told me they thought I was pushing the edge of credibility when there was $15 billion at stake in the novel. Then along comes Bernard Madoff and his swindle for $50 billion. I was just floored. In reality, Wall Street wasn’t just playing hard and fast with the rules, some of the most famous investment houses in the world were engaged in wholesale and widespread fraud.
“The so-called ‘Smart People’ thought that there were no repercussions to their strategies as long as they made money,” Mark says. “Obviously, their unethical and sometimes illegal business practices had widespread and brutal consequences beyond those I describe in Triple Cross. Real people lost homes, their jobs, and their savings. Real kids stopped attending the colleges they wanted to attend. Real philanthropic organizations went bankrupt and shut their doors. Real global investors began to rightly look at the American markets and the institutions around them with a skeptical and jaundiced eye.”
When asked about other similarities between the novel and reality, Mark admits that there is a place in Montana like the Jefferson Club, which went bankrupt after the real crash.
“In some ways that place was emblematic of the excesses of that time, a super-private ski resort for the rich and powerful that demanded a liquid net worth of millions to join,” Mark says. “Some of the wealthiest people in the world stayed up there, and I started thinking, ‘What if a place like that got attacked? And why?” Out of those questions came Triple Cross. Mark hopes you like it.