Effects of several incidents have rocked the Royal National Bank to its core, causing its share price to tumble and world stock markets to ripple. International economic stability is at risk.
Tom is an accomplished journalist from London, and an unhappily married workaholic seeking to advance his career. Sally is single, ambitious and independent. Visiting from Australia, she’s chasing the same story. Eager to research the alleged wrongdoings at RNB exposed by whistleblowers, they become entwined in the investigation, and their trail leads them from London to Glasgow, Manchester, Barcelona and Collioure.
But they tread a dangerous path surrounded by cryptic warnings. Timing and diversity of the events make it almost impossible for the events to be coincidence or incompetence. Is someone powerful and ingenious enough to mastermind the demise of the largest financial institution in the world?
There was a loud 'pop' and Tom ducked as the cork flew from the bottle, bounced off the ceiling and ricocheted in his direction. He heard Sally giggle and turned to see foamy liquid spewing out of the opening and running down and over her hand. He proffered a glass to enable her to pour and avoid further waste.
“Don't you think it's a bit premature for a celebration? True, we've made a breakthrough, but we still don't know what it means.”
“Don't be such a bore. We've had more than a week of intense work without a break and we deserve a reward. Maybe it's not a major breakthrough, but you can't deny we've made real progress. Besides, I've not gone overboard; it's only Freixenet. It's a decent enough cava but it's not 'Bolly', I'd have gone for real champagne if it was a proper celebration.”
Froth was climbing over the top of the first glass and Tom had a second one ready. Sally's enthusiasm was contagious. Her grey eyes sparkled and tears of joy had moistened her cheeks. Her smile was so broad, argument was not imaginable.
“Not for me,” Ahmed said, when he saw Tom lift a third glass. “I don't drink alcohol, haven't you noticed already? But I'll happily toast our success with a glass of spring water. I'm sure there must be a bottle in the mini bar.”
“The charges this hotel makes, it'll probably cost more than the wine I picked up at the supermarket. Never mind, we can claim it on expenses anyhow,” Sally replied.
“What's with the abstinence? I didn't realise you were religious,” Tom asked.