Review: The First Billion (Christopher Reich)

More and more authors are using their expertise in their respective fields to create and write in sub-genres that they are comfortable with. Robin Cook, with his medical thrillers, is a famous example for this. The there's John Grisham, who uses his experience as a lawyer in writing legal thrillers. Christopher Reich is a former Swiss banker and uses his knowledge on the subject to write thrillers set in the corporate world.

In The First Billion, John Gavallan, the head of an investment firm is taking a Russian media company public. His firm is struggling, and this could be the deal that saves it, but there are rumours that something is wrong with the Russian company. His friend, whom he has sent to Russia to investigate, disappears, and he himself is suspected of murders. He discovers a much bigger conspiracy than he expected when he looks into what is happening.

I didn't like this book very much. The plot was not very convincing, and the twists were forced into the story. I didn't like the characters in the novel either, because there are too many gaps in their stories that are not filled in.

Considering the fact that this book deals with a company's public offer and that it was written by someone who can be expected to know a lot about the topic, this book was a major disappointment when it came to telling us about what happens in an IPO.

There is the FBI, the KGB, the Russian mafia, mass murderers, torture... everything is thrown into the story. The book gave me the impression that Reich was trying more to write a thriller, rather than focussing on the aspects of the story that he could write about with greater authority.

The good thing about the book is that it is fast paced, very much so towards the end, and to some extent this makes up for the poorly developed characters. But it's still not a book that I will recommend.

Rating: 3/10

4 comments:

Aravind said...

I haven't read a Christopher Reich book yet, and I'm afraid I wouldn't read one if you don't write a nice review about some other book of his. There are always these wannabe thrillers which end up being the opposite.

Aslam's World said...

dropping by to say a hi

Nithin said...

@aslam. Hey! :)

@aravind. Yeah, this book tried too much to be a typical thriller and that's why it was so disappointing.

heather (errantdreams) said...

It can be a great thing when people decide to write in their areas of expertise, because they can bring so much authentic detail to their topic. But it can also be pretty bad if they have *only* that expertise, and not the writing skill to go with it!

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