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The Devil's Banker Hardcover – August 26, 2003

45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Reich (The Numbered Account; The Runner; The First Billion) returns to the stratospheric heights of international finance in this complicated novel of terrorist intrigue. Mild-mannered forensic accountant Adam Chapel revels in his first field mission, as he follows the tangled trail of a terrorist money transfer. Just as he's set to make an arrest, the suspect detonates a bomb that kills four of Chapel's fellow investigators. Injured in the blast but undeterred, Chapel teams up with Sarah Churchill, a beautiful spy of uncertain affiliation, to hunt down the bomber's secret organization. The shadowy association called the Hijira is funded in part by the elusive genius financier Marc Gabriel, who is engaged in funneling vast sums of money through legitimate and clandestine financial markets to fund Hijira's master plan to destroy the very heart of the American political establishment. Reich's numerous characters can be difficult to keep straight, as can the acronymic organizations they belong to, leading to sentences on the order of: "Run the name through the CBRS. Check for SARs and CTRs" and "OFAC called the White House. The White House called FTAT to confirm that OFAC's IEEPA request was legit...." Readers may scratch their heads in confusion as they wade through the alphabet soup, but those who persevere will receive an advanced education in the secret world of financial deviltry on the grandest of scales. Reich has a lot of fascinating financial lore to pass along, all of which goes down easily as the fast-paced plotting and relentless action speed the reader over the bumpy parts and into a satisfyingly gripping and informative read.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"This smart, fast-paced read shuttles between Wall Street finance and the Eastern paperless hawala banking system--and makes both sound surprisingly cool."
--Entertainment Weekly

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (August 26, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385337272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385337274
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,061,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi Everyone,

It's great to be part of Amazon's new Author Page. Here's a short bio.

I was born November 12, 1961 in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Los Angeles four years later, in late 1965. I graduated from Harvard School (now Harvard-Westlake) in 1979, then made the move to Washington DC where I attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Upon graduating with a degree in international economics (a field in which I was neither particularly gifted nor interested), I worked as a stock broker for two years. One day my best client said, "Chris, you're a nice guy, but you have no idea what you're doing in this business. You might get into trouble one day. You gotta get your butt to business school." I followed his advice and headed down to Austin, Tx, to earn an MBA at UT.

After graduating from UT, I moved even farther east....all the way to Switzerland, where I joined the Union Bank of Switzerland, first in Geneva and then in Zurich. I left banking and worked first as a consultant, and then as the CEO of a small watch company in Neuchatel. The only thing I missed out on was the chocolate business! Anyway, after 7 years in Switzerland, I decided that it was high time to become an author. I'd never written a short story and I hadn't taken a single English class in college. So what? I was a demon reader and I thought for sure I could do. My wonderful wife supported the decision wholeheartedly and we moved back to Austin, where I would write my first novel, Numbered Account.

The rest, as they say, is history....Or, as I say, "history in the making!!"

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By paul mason on January 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Adam Chapel is a former accountant indepently wealthy from a job at a big investment firm that is recruited into a new (sub) intelligence agency against the war on Terrorism. Chapel faces ther reality behind the glamourous new career when a bomb kills members of his fellow team, on the hunt of a terrorist.

A taped message has all the acronyms (and this book is loaded with them) on edge as it threatens another attack on American soil. Enter Chapel and his enigmatic partner Sarah Churchill from M-I6. Chapels, job is to help hunt the terrorists using numbers and accounts as his tools of the trade, follow the money trail that will lead to the Hijura.

Reich does many things right in this novel. He prints out pages and pages of suspense, International intrique, and a dab of romance between his lead characters(probably preparing for a Hollywood adaptation.) The main flaws I found with this thriller was its pace. While entertaining and intriquing enough to finish, it lagged purposely in parts. There was enough suspense, but not quite enough action to rate higher on my own scale of thriller novels.

This is a well written novel, with an interesting enough premise and plot to be worth the read yet would not label it a "must-read" by any means.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. on July 1, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First of all: I love thrillers, and read them a lot. I liked Reich's "Rules of Deception", it was a decent read. This, however, is so bad I could go on forever, complaining about the obvious ignorance the author shows regarding geography, technical devices, and so on. But what's most annoying is the totally uninteresting and unbelievable main characters and sidekicks, who act like they are either high on something, or complete sociopaths. It seems like Reich has got the idea "Oh, there must be some personal conflicts between them!", but he has absolutely no idea how to pull it off. We are often told the characters react strongly on something said - the problem is that there is absolutely nothing to explain the reaction, when looking at what was actually said! And this goes on and on and on, intermixed with the equally unbelievable love affair between the main characters.
Poorly written on any account, this is such a waste of time and money I get mad every time I think of it.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on November 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many ways of fighting the war on terrorisim and Christopher Reich has written an enthralling novel about one of the least understood. Adam Chapel hunts terrorists by "following the money." It is not easy finding the "golden thread" and it is decidedly not dull for Mr. Chapel. The plan has been years in the making and inspite of painstaking care on the mastermind behind it, pieces of it come to light. Sarah Churchill hunts terrorists the old fashioned way. On the ground. As their lives intertwine they each do their part to uncover the plot which involves overthrowing the government of Saudi Arabia by the neuclear destruction of the White House while the Saudi King is guest of honor at a White House dinner. There are many twists and turns in the plot which will hold the reader, but throughout the novel one thought kept reocurring to me, i.e., that there was no suspension of belief needed to appreciate this story. It is frighteningly real and far too plausable for comfort. A superb effort!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Gonzo on December 25, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading "Numbered Account", I was expecting this to be a better book than it was. It was somewhat choppy reading and had a really deflated ending. There are other books out there more worth your time.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John B. Goode TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 30, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I became aware of Christopher Reich and a fan of his when I read Rules of Deception and Rules of Vengeance, two of his newer books, so I decided to go back and read his earlier books. But I felt that this book was almost like it was written by a different person. There was a distinct lack of character development and the storyline was too busy with too many things going on at the same time without developing each line. The good thing I can say is that his writing has much improved and his two latest books are much better than his earlier ones.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Newman VINE VOICE on December 5, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The title to my review says it all. I stumbled through this absolutely boring "thriller" until about page 320 where there is finally something interesting. Unfortunately for this novel, there are only 389 pages so that left only 69 decent pages of writing and the only reason I even gave it two stars.

I was greatly disappointed having read "Numbered Account" by the same author which was absolutely brilliant. Perhaps he is a one hit wonder author.

In this dreadfully slow book Adam Chapel, a type of forensic accountant is on the trail of some terrorists that plan to blow up something. It is not really known to Chapel or his partner Sarah (a foreign agent) exactly what will happen because the threat comes from a tape made in the apartment of a terrorist who blew himself up with Chapel's partners. The tape is incomplete so nobody knows exactly what the threat is.

Chapel tries to learn who is involved by tracing some of the transfers to an account used by someone who paid the rent on the apartment (supposedly the terrorist). Then nothing really happens as Chapel and Sarah chase paper trails for about 250 pages.

The ending of the book is dopey and the ultimate goal of the terrorists can be guessed not too far into the book. It seems like the author rushed this book out right after September 11 and the Patriot Act to use those ideas for a book that goes nowhere!
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