On Tour with Prism Book Tours
By Sherri Shackelford
Christian Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
January 1st 2019 by Love Inspired Suspense
He lives by the law.
She’s running for her life.
After forensic accountant Beth Greenwood uncovers a money-laundering scheme tying her company to the organization that murdered her mentor, she knows she needs to go into hiding. With ruthless killers in pursuit, she’s forced to rely on homeland security agent Corbin Ross’s protection—even as his investigation suggests Beth is complicit in embezzlement. Can their uneasy alliance develop into something deeper—and keep them alive?
About the Author
A former naval reservist with a top-secret security clearance, Sherri writes rapid-fire suspense featuring captivating characters and heart-pounding romance. She's authored more than a dozen novels for Harper Collins publishing, including both historical and contemporary suspense.
“Follow the Money”
Accounting might not seem dangerous, but hiding money is integral to nefarious activities. In the opening scene of Jack Ryan on Amazon, Jack is seen tracing the financial dealings of a suspected terrorist. What Jack discovers leads him on a harrowing adventure to the Middle East, but the spark of his investigation was a rather mundane series of financial transfers.
Well before Watergate made the phrase ‘follow the money’ famous, Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion. Prosecutors noted his lavish lifestyle didn’t match his tax returns. Unfortunately for Al, in 1927, the Supreme Court declared that illegally-earned income was subject to taxes. Despite his numerous violent misdeeds, Capone was ultimately brought down by a bunch of pencil-pushers combing through his financial records.
An accountant who doesn’t mind specializing in illegal activities can net millions. (Assuming they don’t get caught!) But even if they do get caught, the penalties tend to be less harsh than for other crimes.
Can you imagine burglarizing 1.75 million households? Do you think you’d go to jail? Let’s put that into perspective: Each year, an average of 3.5 million houses are burglarized for an estimated cost of 4.7 billion dollars per year. When Enron went belly-up, the company’s fraud cost its investors nearly 2.1 billion dollars.
Enron didn’t steal TVs or expensive cars, but their shady accounting, enabled by the auditing firm of Arthur Anderson, cost people billions. Not only did investors lose money, but employees lost millions of dollars in benefits. Despite the extent of the fraud, only a handful of people actually served time. If you’re going to be a criminal, be a white-collar criminal!
In order to protect against criminal activity, safeguards are put in place—though they don’t always work. Forensic accounting is a form of investigative accounting which examines financial records in order to find evidence for lawsuits or criminal prosecution. My heroine, Beth Greenwood, is a by-the-book stickler. She specialized in forensic accounting early in her career, but a bad experience left her spooked.
When Beth is hired to audit a company’s financial records, her unique skills allow her to spot a pattern of criminal behavior. Much like Jack Ryan, Beth’s discovery sends her on a dangerous adventure. Thankfully for Beth, she gains a handsome protector along the way!
My favorite protagonists are regular people who are forced into extraordinary circumstances. Beth is determined to do the right thing even at the cost of her own safety. Instead of ignoring the evidence and walking away, she puts her own life at risk. While her job may see ho-hum and boring, the consequences are anything but.
Can you think of any other criminals who were brought down by accounting/finances rather than violent crimes?
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1 winner will win "A Little Bit More Romance Box," which includes the following items in a Decorative Box (pictured):
- Romance Bubble Bath
- Classic Cover Harlequin Notebook
- Collectible Addition Book of Romance Poems
- Romance Bath Bomb
- Scented Candle
- Fuzzy Socks
- Books: No Safe Place and His Substitute Mail-Order Bride by Sherri Shackelford, and Undercover Memories by Lenora Worth
Ends January 23, 2019