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The Prince of Risk: A Novel Hardcover – December 3, 2013

203 customer reviews

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Robert Astor, New York Stock Exchange CEO, was killed when the SUV he and two other powerful financiers were riding in lost control and careened across the White House lawn, forcing the Secret Service to open fire. Before he dies, Robert texts his son, Bobby, one word: Palantir. The text convinces Bobby (a hedge-fund mastermind) that the deaths weren’t accidental, and he digs into his father’s papers, struggling to decipher the threat posed by the apparently unrelated corporations Robert was researching. Meanwhile, Bobby’s fund is threatened when his high-stakes gamble on the yuan’s devaluation goes sideways. As he dodges an assassin, tries to save his fund, and searches for the answers Palantir holds, Bobby realizes that he’s entangled in a Chinese espionage plot targeting the U.S. economy. While the detection aspects of the plot don’t quite hold up, Reich skillfully anchors the story with a scarily realistic espionage premise, introduces a wealth of physical threats, and keeps it all moving at a breakneck pace. Economic espionage thrillers involving the Chinese have become a growing trend, and this one makes a solid addition to the field. --Christine Tran


The Prince of Risk is a terrific thriller, written by a guy who knows what he's doing. Check it out. I think you'll love it.
--Steve Berry

"The Prince of Risk will knock your socks off.  Christopher Reich seamlessly weaves the high-stakes world of hedge funds and international terrorism into a frightening, big-time thriller that pulls you into his world and rockets ahead like a runaway train.  Reich knows how to deliver, and does."
--Robert Crais

"At the moment I'm reading a great new financial thriller by Christopher Reich, The Prince of Risk. One thing Doug [Preston] and I love to do in our books is come up with scary but credible near-future scenarios--and crafting just such scenarios is a talent Reich has in spades.
--Lincoln Child

Critical Raves for NUMBERED ACCOUNT:
“A smart and sophisticated thriller.”
The New York Times
“Breakneck speed.”
The Wall Street Journal
“Tension crackles like crisp new banknotes.”
“A brilliant thriller.”
– James Patterson
“Taut, sophisticated….The inner sanctum of Swiss banking.”
– Nelson DeMille
Chicago Tribune


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (December 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385535066
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385535069
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,541 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

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
A conspiracy is afoot and the only (good) people who know about it are the Secretary of the Treasury, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and the CEO of the New York Stock Exchange. Until they die. Just before their car explodes on the White House lawn, the head of the NYSE texts the word Palantir to his estranged son, hedge fund master Bobby Astor, whose ex-wife, Alex Forza, happens to be an FBI agent. Astor has no idea what Palantir means, but he is determined to find out. The conspirators, of course, are aware of the text, knowledge that puts Astor's life in peril. In the meantime, Astor has made a bet that Chinese currency will be devalued, a gamble that places him in financial peril, to the extent of losing 400 million dollars.

Global conspiracies are plentiful and far-reaching in the word of thrillers. This one involves electronic surveillance of 57,000 influential people (mostly in government and business). Impressive but credible, given the resources of the conspiracy's backers. Is the conspiracy farfetched? In some respects, yes, but no more farfetched than is common in modern thrillers. Apart from one scene at the end, nothing about the story made me unwilling to suspend my disbelief, in part because Reich includes convincing detail about the conspiracy's design. Of course, a reader who is more knowledgeable about software or the mechanics of Wall Street financial transactions might not be as easily convinced as I was. And even to the extent that I was unconvinced, the story is so fun that I easily overcame my skepticism.

The story features -- wait for it -- a warrior monk. I have to admit that I wasn't expecting a warrior monk to show up on Wall Street, but Reich somehow makes it work.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on November 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love a book that grips you in the first couple of pages. Christopher Reich is successful in his latest book "The Prince of Risk". Not only is the reader burning through the pages of a great thriller but you're also learning about the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street stock brokers. The story keeps you interested on many levels. The main character Bobby Astor runs a very successful hedge fund and finds himself in a fast paced, thrilling ride involving international mercenaries, billionaires, and foreign leaders. His ex-wife Alex is an FBI agent and she finds herself involved in a possible terrorism assault that involves the very same people Bobby is tracking down - the people that are trying to ruin his hedge fund.

Once I started reading this book it was very difficult to put it down. It is well written and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
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38 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Aaron C. Brown TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a conventional thriller about a foreign plot to destroy the US financial system, by supervillains who monitor every form of communication. Paper Gold meets The Watchmen. The writing is smooth and professional, except for the author's fondness for dangling modifiers, such as, "Beaufoy spun and shot the policeman standing behind him in the head." He does get credit for predicting correctly that if your car goes out of control near the White House, it will be riddled with bullets no matter who's in it, and the killers will be celebrated for the massacre. There's nothing new here, but many thriller fans looking for something to pass time on an airplane ride will find it acceptable. For them, this is a three-star book.

For my part, however, it was less satisfactory. I am aware that my criticisms will seem like nitpicking to most people. If you read your thrillers for broad action strokes rather than details, you should probably rely on other reviewers.

I like my thrillers tight, this one is filled with inconsistencies. Two good guys are aware that the bad guys are listening to their telephone call, and have active assassins tracking them down. They need to agree on a place to meet. It happens they both know Morse code, so one of them taps out the location. Clever, and it's plausible this might delay even supervillains with massive surveillance teams. If none of the bad guys had been Eagle scouts it might have taken them ten minutes to find a website to decode it. But one good guy takes a needless one hour detour, which destroys any possible value.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TopCat19 on January 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I'm not even sure if "financial thriller" is considered a genre unto itself, but that's how I categorize books like this. I read a great deal of fiction and nonfiction, but one area of special interest for me is finance, and on the fiction side I enjoy a good novel like this. While I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, high school is it for me as far as formal education, so I don't really feel comfortable critiquing things like plot structure, character development, and other nuances. It's simple for me - I either like a book or I don't (or, meeh, it was ok, but...). I enjoyed this book immensely. I started reading it one morning a few days ago, and finished it up that same evening. I even found myself reading it while there was a college bowl game on television, and I'm a big football fan, so that should tell you something. I'm a bit reluctant to get too specific about the story itself, I'm always afraid of giving away too much and spoiling the story, so suffice it to say that it's a fast-paced yarn with a mixture of high finance, shady characters, and international terrorists. Good stuff. I've not read all of Christopher Reich's books, as some of them appear to be more of a straight thriller, but he has written two that are in this financial thriller mode, "Numbered Account" (his first book) and "The Devil's Banker". Both of these are top-notch as well, so if you try this one and like it, give these two a try.
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