Fifteen Digits Review
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It took me quite a while to finish Nick Santora’s Fifteen Digits, since I expected something a little more exciting from the former writer and co-executive producer of the Prison Break TV series. However, I did appreciate the irony of the ending.

It all starts with a conversation between Rich Mauro and Jason Spade. Rich wants to become a successful lawyer, so he can marry his girlfriend and live an affluent lifestyle. Jason is a disgruntled lawyer who wants out. Together, they hatch a plan to become millionaires.

Rich begins his path to wealth and prosperity by working in the basement of Olmstead & Taft—the biggest baddest, toughest law firm in New York City—where he makes copies, collates, and delivers sensitive documents for the lawyers upstairs. His plan is to go to night school and work his way up the basement steps. Then Jason comes along, and they begin using all of that information for insider trading.

But Rich and Jason aren’t alone. The rest of Rich’s co-workers want in on the deal, each having more noble reasons than Rich and Jason. And it works, too—until something goes horribly wrong.

Fifteen Digits starts out slowly, as readers are introduced to the humdrum world of Rich Mauro, who wants to get out of his humdrum life. One of the reasons for his eventual corruption is that he’s afraid of losing his fiancée to a wealthier opponent. His fears aren’t very well grounded, which makes his choice to commit a felony even sadder.

Jason Spade, meanwhile, is just a spoiled rich kid who’s tired of working under his father. He’s not a very likable character, though he’s not supposed to be, and I could never figure out why Rich didn’t see right through him. It’s painfully obvious that Jason doesn’t have Rich’s best interests in mind, but I suppose that promises of wealth can corrupt and blind almost anyone with a weakness.

For the most part, Fifteen Digits is a good read. I just have a hard time liking greedy characters, no matter how noble the reasons. The pacing does pick up about halfway through the book, but I mostly hung around to see how it would end—which turned out to be the best part of the novel.

If you like exploring the dog-eat-dog world of insider trading, greedy low-men-on-the-totem-pole, and corrupt, fast-talking lawyers, you’ll love Fifteen Digits. However, if you prefer characters with a little more nobility, you might want to look elsewhere.

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