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book cover of Zero Sum

Zero Sum

(The first book in the Dr. Steven Cross series)
A novel by

Present Day Wall Street. Where intelligence agencies and the financial industry are strange bedfellows, and the two worlds are often intertwined in disturbing ways.

In this chillingly plausible, controversial scenario of a military/industrial/financial complex run amok, Zero Sum pits Dr. Steven Archer Cross against powerful financier Nicholas Griffen in a conflict that raises troubling questions about our markets and our government.

Racing against the clock in a chase that spans continents, one man's battle to expose the Machiavellian machinations of a ruthless Wall Street marauder forces him into a financial jungle populated by every variety of unscrupulous sociopath - rogue intelligence agencies, Russian mafia oligarchs, drug cartels and terrorist networks.

As a white-collar game of chess transitions into a lethal real world cage-fight, Steven finds himself in a deadly showdown, where hunters can quickly become the hunted and blood is the ultimate currency.

Zero Sum is the first novel featuring Dr. Steven Archer Cross


Q & A for Zero Sum

Question: Where did the idea for Zero Sum come from?

RB: I thought the inside scoop of how a Wall Street pump and dump works would be a great framework for a thriller. The innate conspiracy begs to be told, and I also wanted to give some background on how the market actually functions.

Q: Zero Sum offers readers a look behind the curtain on Wall Street's dark side. Do you think there's much of an audience for that?

RB: With the current financial crisis & the emerging awareness that things are badly broken in the regulatory & law enforcement scheme, I think the novel's timely. Its depiction of Wall Street predators with their pet politicians, regulators & media cronies is spot on. I've found readers are fascinated once they understand it all.

Q: Zero Sum paints a picture of Wall Street that's at odds with the sanitized image in the media. Have you gotten any flack because of it?

RB: There's definitely a segment of the financial industry that would prefer nobody reads the book. The parasites that run the schemes described in it are alive & well & doing it every day, relying on the public's ignorance to prosper. There are some annoyed players who want this read about as much as they want a 60 Minutes crew at their office. It's a controversial story, & I'm not making any friends telling it.

Q: Your characters seem real, especially the Wall Street villain, intelligence operatives & mob goons. Are these based in fact?

RB: A good fiction author blends truth & fiction to the point where you aren't sure where the story starts & the facts leave off. Let's just say that the characters & scenarios that seem real, are likely that vivid & believable for a reason.

Q: What authors do you read & which have most influenced you?

RB: I grew up on Ludlum. Forsyth. Harris, Grisham. Fans of those authors will find my writing's similar - Bourne, Day of the Jackal, The Firm.

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Zero Sum features Dr. Steven Archer Cross, from The Voynich Cypher


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Used availability for Russell Blake's Zero Sum

Paperback Editions

January 2013 : USA Paperback

Title: Zero Sum (Dr. Steven Cross Series #1)
Author(s): Russell Blake
ISBN: 1-4802-7947-1 / 978-1-4802-7947-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

September 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Zero Sum (Wall Street Conspiracy Thriller) (Dr. Archer/Cross Book 1)
Author(s): Russell Blake, Russell Blake
Publisher: Reprobatio Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA