A novel about greed, corruption and murder at the highest levels of government and business.
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Corruption sometimes plagues our government. We are blind to inappropriate behavior and those who try to show the truth are condemned and hunted down by our own elected elites. Jerry Gerrish's new novel, Corporate Secrets, involves the business deal of two large aerospace companies to produce commercial jet engine parts in Japan. All is well until Hawthorn Industries hires Rick Emerson to investigate the other company.
Rick delves deeper and deeper into the mystery surrounding the death of a member of the American technical support team. He discovers illegal military hardware in Japan,and even more disturbing, is approached by a U.S. Senator in an attempt to dissuade him from further investigation.
Rick’s employer, along with Senator McCabe, unites several federal agencies to put a stop to the illegal activities of the right-wing group, the Federated Freedom Council.
Jerry Gerrish worked in the aerospace industry and financial community for several years. He has his Master of Science degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a former instructor at a large international aerospace manufacturer’s engineering technical university.
Although Corporate Secrets is a work of fiction, Jerry spent time working in Japan where part of this story takes place. He describes Japan and its people from his personal knowledge of the country. He resides in Connecticut where he now devotes time to writing.
Corporate Secrets (Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.)
HIS NAME IS RICK Emerson; he is a self-employed attorney who contracts his small firm’s services to very large law firms. Most of his jobs come from the law firm of Hammonds,Wade,Goldstein and Teale, which has offices in three major cities in the United States.
The first office, based in New York City, has a corporate-based clientele.
The second office, in Washington, DC,
has, as one can imagine, a political customer base.
The third office,
located in San Diego, California, has a clientele one can’t really classify with one word; let’s just say diversity is their customer’s forte.
Rick’s job description would be very lengthy to describe in detail, he is best described as an auditor,investigator, security
specialist, and janitor. “I clean up messes,” Rick is fond of stating.
He has a couple of degrees in business/finance as well as his
law degree and he passed the bar in Connecticut several years ago. But it’s his life’s experiences that have given him the best resume for what he does, marksman, karate, sports, sports car driver, vintage automobile collector, investigator, etc.
He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Diane, for the past nineteen years.
They have a son, Matthew, who is in
his first year of studies at Stanford University in California. Matthew
has the brains in the family and he’s studying to become a physicist. He’s athletic like his parents, but he chooses to play intramural sports, such as rugby, and likes to think of archeology as one of his hobbies.
Diane is five feet eight inches tall, slim and very attractive; people always assume she is much younger than her years. She’s a brunette and of Portuguese descent. She drives Rick crazy with her physical fitness workout regimen; she’s up at the crack of dawn to exercise and then off to work until late in the evening.
Diane is by no means a stay at home wife; she has a very successful consulting firm based in Hartford, Connecticut.
She has her offices on the twentieth floor of the Gold Building in the
heart of the insurance capital of the world. She also has a very nice apartment in the city for those long workdays when she doesn’t want to make the hour-long drive to their home in Cornwall.
Her clients are mostly major insurance companies. She offers
plans and studies to deal with large natural catastrophes, such as
hurricanes or floods, and can help set up lobbying operations in
Washington. Her firm also advises insurance companies in investment
strategies. One of her latest enterprises involves researching
and developing plans to wean insurance carriers from mainly covering gas-powered vehicles to underwriting environmentally friendly and cost effective green-powered vehicle coverage.
Needless to say, she is very well compensated for her work.
Rick had been called to a meeting with one of his clients, the
law firm of Hammonds, Wade, Goldstein and Teale in New York City. The main office was located in downtown Manhattan near Wall Street.
The trip into the city only took about ninety minutes and he pulled into the parking garage in his BMW 740 at about 9a.m.
He has known John Hammonds for about seven years now and does a great deal of work for his firm. The cases John sends Rick’s way are sometimes borderline legal or they need an independent investigator to isolate his law firm from any legal consequences that may arise from the investigation.
“Good morning, Mr. Emerson, I’ll tell Mr. Hammonds you’re here,” greeted the receptionist.
Now this is my kind of
office, thirty-six floors up with glass and chrome everywhere,
plus a great view of New York City; it sure is a drastic change from my office, Rick thought to himself.
The receptionist motioned
Rick to follow and directed him to a conference room.
“Good morning, Rick,” said John Hammonds. “I hope the
ride down from the Litchfield hills was good.”
“Yes, the traffic wasn’t bad at all, I suspect a lot of people are enjoying their summer vacations,” replied Rick.
“Rick, I would like to introduce you to William Hawthorn, president and chairman of the board of Hawthorn Corporation in Albany, New York.”
“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Hawthorn,” said Rick, as he reached out and shook Hawthorn’s hand.
“Please call me Will, if you don’t mind,” said Mr. Hawthorn.
“Great, please call me Rick.”
“Can I get you anything, Rick?”
“Yes, orange juice please, with pulp, if you have it John.”
“I asked you here this morning to brief you on an assignment I hope you will accept. One of Will’s companies has entered into a contract with a Japanese firm to sell some aircraft parts as well as the rights to produce those parts exclusively. In return, Hawthorn Aerospace, the company selling the parts, gets compensated
up front with a five hundred million dollar payment and a joint venture to sell Hawthorn engines in Japan as well as in Asia. That’s a quick overview of the agreement.” John handed Rick a
folder containing the agreement as well as several summaries.
“This all sounds pretty straightforward, gentlemen. How can
I assist you?” asked Rick, as he opened the folder and started to
review some of the summaries.
“As a company, we have been diversifying and becoming more of a global corporation to stay competitive, but we are relatively
inexperienced with large overseas contracts. On paper the deal appears good to both parties and very good to our position, but I want to assure our directors and be assured myself, that we are moving in the right direction with this contract. We have a very good management team in place at Hawthorn Aerospace, but they are new and I want some neutral third party to monitor and look into the program. So I approached John, since I’ve
known him for years and he handles the majority of our legal work,” explained Mr. Hawthorn.
“That’s when I thought of you, Rick. With your hands onapproach and your attention to detail, plus your auditing background,I thought you’d be perfect for the job.”
“Thanks for the endorsement, John, you know that the fee just increased. Now tell me why you want me and my team to look into this matter.”
“Well, with Hawthorn Aerospace’s venture into Japan and the new president’s limited experience with international matters and complications on the international front, such as terrorism and the emergence of the Asian market, I asked John to hire someone with a diversified back ground and experience to look into this deal. I didn’t want any ordinary audit team comprised of
several bean counters, just to go over the books. I want someone who can go beyond the numbers to look into what’s actually happening and truly protect our investment.”
“Mr. Hawthorn, I’m sorry, Will. Do you have grounds to suspect something is happening that would negatively affect the agreement?” asked Rick.
“No, I don’t have any specific examples, but I have an old friend in charge of special projects and he expressed his concern to me about how the deal was structured and some concerns for our people in Japan. His name is Bill Kearns. We go back many
years, and you may want to talk to him at some point.”
“Thanks, I’ll make it a point to see him.”
“Then by the sound of your response to Mr. Hawthorn you’ll
take the assignment, Rick?” asked John.
“Did you warn your client about my unorthodox approach to problems and my complete involvement in a project once I accept?”
“Mr. Hawthorn has given me the final authority regarding this assignment, Rick.”
“Great, let’s talk expenses and fees,” Rick loved to needle his old friend John Hammonds any time he could, especially about money.
“If you’ll excuse me, gentlemen, I have another meeting here in the city today and I need to get going. It’s nice to meet you, Rick. Yes, I’ve been warned about the high cost of doing business with you, but I’ve also been advised about your extraordnary capacity for results; it will be money well spent. John, please call me later today and we can finalize things.”
“I’ll call around five. Is that good for you, Will?”
“Do you have time for some lunch Rick?” asked John
“Peter Lugers?” responded Rick.
“Sure, I could use a good steak and some fine wine. So I take
it you are accepting the assignment.”