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by Christopher Reich
Doubleday , December 2013
369 pages
ISBN: 0385535066

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

There's nothing better than a thriller that is so believable in its premise as to make its readers rethink the current political situation. Such is the case with THE PRINCE OF RISK, in which a plot to destabilize the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is uncovered by the head of the exchange, who just happens to be the estranged father of a hedge fund manager.

When in his last moments on earth, he texts his son, Bobby Astor, a one-word message, Astor can only do what any son would: try and find out why his father was killed. It would have been easier to pass this information along to Bobby's ex-wife, an FBI agent, but that only comes after he's gotten himself deep into trouble.

The danger to his own life doesn't even become clear until he plans to meet with a woman who was helping his father with the research that led to his death. When he goes to meet her, he finds some clues but also the unexpected. Meanwhile, his ex, Special Agent Alex Forza has found a very dangerous arms storage location on Long Island and is caught up not only in internal politics at the FBI, but her own set of mysteries.

Eventually the two do come together, and by then the action is fierce and fast. It's a deliciously satisfying read, with clues meted out in just the right amount along the way and the two stories coming together perfectly in a grand finale at the NYSE (although there's some great spycraft in London shortly beforehand).

There's ample reason here to see why Christopher Reich is an award-winning novelist of the top order. His plotline is not only plausible, but his target is right on. This is an engrossing, extremely enjoyable thriller that anyone who pays the slightest attention to the news will find believable, even downright chilling.

Christine Zibas is a freelance writer and former director of publications for a Chicago nonprofit.

Reviewed by Christine Zibas, December 2013

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