book reviews

Book Review: Long Way Down

Long Way Down (Jason Stafford, #3)Long Way Down

by Michael Sears

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Received for review from Amazon Vine

Michael SearsLong Way Down (A Jason Stafford Novel)” (GP Putman 2014), third in the Jason Stafford series, is a gripping story of Jason Stafford, a Wall Street trader who goes to jail for insider trading and comes out to rebuild his life by helping those in trouble in his past field. The path to helping one particular innovative, hard-charging entrepreneur leads Stafford through corruption, hitmen, murder, and multiple attempts on our hero’s life. By using the mental skills he developed both in and out of prison, he is able to unravel the clues that will find his client innocent. Or guilty. The reader doesn’t know which it will be until the riveting surprise ending.

Sears is an excellent writer. His characters are well-drawn and plot believable, albeit weighed down by long-winded detail on a variety of topics. As a result, the story moves a tad slowly for the usual thriller-murder-mystery. Add to that a robust secondary plot that while fascinating–Stafford is the single father, raising a son with Asperger’s–distracts often from the primary plot. What saves this is the realism of the dad-and-son daily events that the reader experiences with the duo. I was in awe of his patience, tenacity, and love for his son.

While Jason Stafford is smart, clever, and does not know the meaning of the word ‘quit’–great traits for a novel’s protagonist–I had a love-hate with him. Part of it was his superiority to all people, as though he learned nothing from his precipitous fall from grace and the mistakes that put him in jail. Because of this attitude, he too often had derogatory comments about everyday people just trying to get by. I get that this is his character. I’m not supposed to find him perfect, but it reminded me too much of Patricia Cornwall’s Kay Scarpetta. She shared the same malady about the time I quit reading that series.

Overall, Michael Sears is an excellent storyteller with a strong grip on character development and building his plot to an explosive climax. Definitely read this one.

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More book reviews:

Book Review: The Black Ace

Book Review: Kind of Cruel

Book Review: Let Me Go

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. 

17 thoughts on “Book Review: Long Way Down

  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Flamekeepers | WordDreams...

  2. I note that your reviews address the weaknesses of a novel as well as its strengths without being a personal diatribe or bootlicking praise. You provide plenty of reasons for someone to read or ignore a book but still make it their choice – with a bit of tone from your POV.


    • Usually if I have a personal diatribe, I don’t write it. It’s difficult to separate personal opinion from reality and I don’t want to go there. Bootlicking–just not in me, though I have gotten effusive at times.


    • Thanks, Lana. I haven’t felt the need to read the rest of the series. In contrast, I read CJ Box’s latest Joe Pickett novel and have since read the first eight–eager for the next seven in the series.


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