Do not let the strange title deter you from this great story. We’ve all heard the expression that the love of money is the root of all evil and this story is a perfect example of that reality. Four men who work for minimum wages all have need of more money than they can ever earn under their present conditions. They work for one of the largest law firms in New York City, and their job is to copy the briefs for the hundreds of lawyers who work in the offices above their basement print shop. The four are as unlike each other as night and day. Rich, a former construction worker now attending college with the vision of going on to law school is in love with a girl from a wealthy family. Visalia, or Vise, is a former petty thief who gave up that life to raise his eight brother and sisters. Dylan was once in a Puerto Rican gang in NYC but gave it up when a tragic event changed his life. Strange as it seems, the boss of this motley crew is semi-retarded but is a savant when it comes to computers and all forms of copy machines. His dream since he was a youngster was to go to Disneyland, but his grandparents use his wages for themselves and refuse to fulfill his dream. One of the lawyers offers the four an illegal opportunity to make lots of money. He tells them that many of the papers they prepare for the lawyers have insider information that can be used for trading on the stock market. In order to form a partnership to share in the profits, he has each select 3 numbers for an off-shore account password. Thus, the four of them and the lawyer create a password of 15 digits. Their first venture into insider trading leads to a windfall of over 300 thousand dollars for each of them, but ends in death and destruction for some.
Nick Santora’s gritty tale of greed, motivated by love is a winner. He creates characters who are so realistically defined that they come alive in the audio book. From the wise-cracking thief, Vise, to the smarmy, preppy lawyer, his depictions ring true. His dialogue is often hilarious and adds levity to the darker message of the book. In addition to the basic plot about criminal activity, there are numerous subplots which examine the various effects of love offered and denied. Santora’s technique of having Rich inform the listeners in the beginning of the book that his actions will doom each of his partners in some way is very intriguing and serves to maintain suspense throughout the story. This audio book is not only entertaining, with mind-numbing terror and suspense, it is thought-provoking, leaving the listener with a lingering affection for some of the characters and a begrudging concern for others.
Fifteen Digits by Nick Santora
Read by David Collins
Hachette Audio, unabridged: 11 Hours