New York Times bestselling author Stephen Frey presents a financial thriller of corruption at the highest levels of government and the greed that drives it. An IRS agent suspects foul play when her boss dies during an investigation into the financial profile of a senatorial candidate's campaign. Now she possesses the information that could ruin the candidate's career, expose the military's secret 'black budget,' and damage the credibility of a major investment banking firm. With the help of the banking firm's portfolio manager, she intends to reveal her information...unless she is silenced first!
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November 16, 2003
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Excerpt from The Inner Sanctum by Stephen Frey
"That's quite a caseload you're lugging home tonight, Jesse." Neil Robinson, branch chief of the city's Office of Internal Revenue, nodded at the young woman's overloaded bag as the two of them threaded their way through the after-work crowd spilling onto Baltimore's downtown sidewalks.
"Oh, I just threw a bunch of old files in there before we left to impress you," Jesse laughed, as they dodged several men in suits coming around a corner. "I want you to think I'm working hard so you'll get me a new grade and I can get a raise."
"You've got to be kidding. I just got you your new grade two months ago. And you got your raise then." Robinson tried to sound annoyed but turned his head so she wouldn't see him smile. He knew full well the files in her bag were active. Jesse Hayes and her friend Sara Adams were the hardest working revenue agents at the branch. But somehow Jesse consistently combined her amazing efficiency with a contagious smile and a positive attitude -- something Sara couldn't always manage.
"Pull a few strings for me, Neil," Jesse said, yanking the bag's strap higher on her shoulder. "Aren't I worth it "
"Of course you are, but that isn't how the government works. They don't care what you're worth, just how long you've been around."
"That doesn't sound very encouraging." Jesse grinned. "How am I going to feed my four children "
Robinson raised an eyebrow. "Jesse, when did you have children "
"When I decided this would be a good time to go for another raise."
Robinson shook his head and laughed, then checked his watch. Five after six. He was five minutes late for his meeting with Gordon Roth. Robinson prided himself on being punctual, but tonight he was consciously late. Hopefully, Roth wouldn't wait around. "Where are you headed, Jesse "
"Oh, right, business school," Robinson reminded himself. They stopped at a corner waiting for the light to change. "A master's degree in business." He looked at her proudly. "Sounds pretty good, doesn't it "
"It'll sound a whole lot better when I'm finished."
The light changed and they moved ahead with the crowd.
"How's school going " Robinson sensed her frustration.
"Fine, I guess. I shouldn't complain, but sometimes it isn't easy to sit in class for three hours after a day at the office." She sighed. "I hope having an M.B.A. will be worth all of this."