Crown Jewel
Christopher Reich
A Simon Riske Thriller
Mulholland Books 2019
384 pages

Crown Jewel is the second instalment in the Simon Riske thriller series by Christopher Reich.

Spies, lies, and dangerous guys; that is what Crown Jewel is made of.

Simon Riske owns a body shop for high end automobiles. Generally he flies under the radar, but occasionally he is recruited to undertake challenging clandestine operations for the uber-rich. Crown Jewel (Simon Riske Book 2) on Kindle

He is approached by Lord Toby Stonewood, a casino-owning Duke whose operation has been bleeding money. A sophisticated ring of professional cheaters is the most likely explanation. It is up to Simon to go under cover and flush it out.

More than comfortable with high stakes gambling, fast cars, beautiful women, and sophisticated clientele, Riske hops into a Daytona and heads to Monte Carlo where he runs into headstrong and independent Victoria (Vika) Brandt; a recently bereaved heiress who is determined to find a missing link that will prove that her mother’s death was not an accident.

Ever the suave gentleman, Riske chooses to follow and protect Vika, whether she likes it or not. There is much more to her and her family than meets the eye.

Crown Jewel introduces dangerous characters who will do anything for money. The plot grows deep and more complex. Soon there is kidnapping, murder, animosity between rival nationalities, and more than a few fist fights; all of which would lend themselves to a great action movie.

There is never a dull moment. Crown Jewel has a lot of characters, twists and turns, and intersecting plots which this reader sometimes found a bit much and difficult to track. Everything intersected and wrapped up well in the end; the mark of a good writer, but in contrast to the intensity of the rest of the book, the finale was a bit too “light” and less believable for this reader’s taste.

I prefer a smoother, less complicated read, so I cannot profess to be a fan, but those who enjoy the action/adventure/thriller genre of James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Jack Reacher should give Crown Jewel by Christopher Reich a try.

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