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Damon Traynor leaves a glittering career on Wall Street to set up his own private equity business. When it is the winning bidder in the multi-billion dollar auction for a government-owned defense company, his firm’s future success looks certain.

But soon after the deal closes, Damon makes an alarming discovery—something that makes the recent acquisition worthless. Then he learns he was duped by the financially-strapped federal administration and that there are many others in the same position. Facing financial ruin, he investigates the US treasury officials behind the transaction.

What Damon uncovers is a terrifying web of organized crime—extending all the way to the White House itself—involving blackmail and assassination on an industrial scale. When those around him begin to die, Damon finds himself locked in a deadly battle with the leader of the free world.

Author Martin Bodenham met with The Big Thrill to discuss his his novel, SHAKEDOWN:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

After the 2008 financial crisis, my hope in writing this political conspiracy thriller is that readers will see how a desperate government will stop at nothing when faced with the prospect of financial meltdown.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

This book takes the key elements of a political conspiracy novel and combines it with a financial thriller. Think House of Cards meets Billions.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

Private equity firms have become the new masters of the financial universe. Having been the CEO of a London-based private equity firm, in this book the author lifts the lid on their inner workings, revealing the tension between greed and fear that drives these financial powerhouses.


After a thirty year career in private equity and corporate finance, Martin Bodenham moved to the west coast of Canada, where he writes full time. He held corporate finance partner positions at both KPMG and Ernst & Young as well as senior roles at a number of private equity firms before founding his own private equity company in 2001. Much of the tension in his thrillers is based on the greed and fear he witnessed first-hand while working in international finance.

To learn more about Martin, please visit his website.