Garrett Reilly is a stock trader.
He is a pretty good one because of his ability to spot patterns where most people, even in his field, miss them. This has done well for him over the years. It is also going to get him involved in a couple of very unpleasant situations.
When we first meet him, Reilly is a bond trader at a prestigious Wall Street firm, Jenkins & Altshuler, and was very much considered a rising star at the company being "probably the best young talent the company had". He was 26 years old and described as "a freckled, black-haired, half-Irish, half-Mexican face and the languid drawl of a kid from the slums of Long Beach, California".
Reilly loved numbers. "His memory for numbers was photographic. He could scan a page of new bond issues and then repeat them back, number by number, verbatim, a week later. It was part of the reason Garrett, a janitor's kid, had gotten into Yale." "Garrett didn't just memorize numbers. He sorted them, ranked them, shifted them into discrete categories, until a pattern emerged. A flow. Until the numbers made sense. Garrett didn't mean to do it - he just did it." Even more telling was the fact that "it wasn't even that he found patterns. He sensed them."
That deeply rooted skill would have just kept him making a very good living for himself as well as a considerable amount of money for his employers had he not seen a pattern in strange financial activity by the Chinese government, actions that just looked foolhardy to anyone else looking but to Reilly revealed a more sinister purpose. He chose to send a note to his immediate boss and mentor and that man sent a note to an acquaintance in the American government.
Which is how Reilly went from a cubicle in a skyscraper in New York City trading bonds to dealing with operatives and assassins and military leaders and even top level politicians, including the U.S. President.
- Said by ... "We all work for Homeland Security. Whether we know it or not."
- Regarding Reilly's fellow traders at the company, "They were all young, horny, indifferent to the wider world if it didn't involve money. Or sex."
- About Reilly, "Mostly when he was sober he was angry: angry at his parents, his brother, the government, corporations, his boss. Everybody and everything. He considered anger a constant - his equilibrium state."