Martin Stallworth is a black man trying to make it on Wall Street. As a junk bond salesman with the investment bank Whorman Skeller & Co., he has a chance to prove his worth when the firm plans to launch a major high yield bond deal for a satellite communications company called Lodestar. Because Lodestar has important connections to the US Department of Defense, Martin and the other junk bond salespersons know their jobs are on the line if they don't sell the deal. Their desperation to do so leads to an act of espionage and murder. Martin somehow finds himself as the accused perpetrator of both. Both the cops and a gang of Chinese thugs under the command of a rogue hedge fund trader are hot on his trail.
Junk combines a satirical send-up of a typical investment bank with elements of a fast-paced thriller. While the narrative action is riveting, Goodwin's characterizations and descriptive writing attain the level of serious literary fiction.