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

4.1 out of 5 stars 209 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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

Review

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.”
People
 
“A brilliant thriller.”
– James Patterson
 
“Taut, sophisticated….The inner sanctum of Swiss banking.”
– Nelson DeMille
 
“Gripping.”
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 (209 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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This book is as good as any A list writer out there. The book is very timely as it describes nation states using the Internet to spy and manipulate computers at will. The frightening thing about this is that the mechanisms Reich reveals as the book moves along are very, very plausible. You don't find out just how devious it all is until the protagonist finds out about it all later on in the book. Very well researched, it also accurately depicts how hedge funds run, giving the reader an understandable peek into the inner workings of high finance Wall Street. Finally, it is a true page turner, hard to put down. Very well written.
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Our hero, Bobby Astor, starts out as somewhat of a jerk, wrapped up in himself and his ultra-successful investment firm. His father, an important financial figure, has been killed under suspicious circumstances, and Bobby, who has never been close to his father, is uncaring. Things change as Bobby starts to realize that his father's death is part of a larger plot. Bobby's ex-wife, Alex, works for the FBI and gets involved as well. The financial foundation of the plot is not complicated. The plot is plausible, and engrossing. Nice read.
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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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I always like Christopher Reich's books. He has a way of slowly introducing complex concepts throughout the storyline so you don't realize you're learning anything until the story is well underway. This novel involves technological espionage in the financial industry, neither of which I know much about. The characters are engaging, though, and the storyline pulled me in so that I wanted to understand what they were dealing with. Add in some current topics like terrorism and accounting scandals and you'll be hooked. if you haven't read any of his work, I'd have to say this is a great place to start!
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Good book. Good tempo and interesting comments. There are a couple of things that I ABSOLUTELY would change but would be a spoiler for anyone who hadn't read. Lets just say the ending is "too pure" and anyone in that position for that long wouldn't have to do that. Author should call me before he finishes the treatment or the screenplay.
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