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Mystery Books - Christopher Reich - The Devil's Banker

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Christopher Reich
480 pages
Dell; Reprint edition (August 3, 2004)

The Devil’s Banker is an odd book in that to the uninitiated reader in the genre it may seem like a fresh book because Reich can write. To an experienced reader of thrillers and mysteries The Devil’s Banker barely makes the grade as a summer distraction. It isn’t a bad book but it seems like it was an easy book to write because it seems assembled from stock pieces of cultural stereotypes and formulae.

The premise for The Devil’s Banker is certainly fresher than in many cookie cutter thrillers with the hero Adam Chapel being a world class accountant and the idea of  using accounting techniques to track Muslim’s plotting death and mayhem among the non believers. After four members of his team are killed in a raid on a Parisian apartment Chapel unleashes his considerable accounting skills and reasoning abilities mixing them with the talents of a gorgeous British agent (is there any other kind in this type of novel?) and a chain smoking caricature of a French policeman.

Amid all the constant skepticism about the ability for the wide variety of international police forces to cooperate in the pursuit of a well financed group all the required authorizations seem to come through on time. Quite simply The Devil’s Banker is a pedestrian effort which could have been better but still has enough action to keep you busy for a few hours.

Denis Bernicky

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