Christopher Reich continues to take his readers on a historical and geographic roller coaster with just the right amount of drama, romance and violence to keep the pages turning. Jett Gavallan is the self made San Francisco millionaire investment banker with Texas roots and gumption. A retired fighter pilot, he is in for the war he never saw coming, and won't quit until justice prevails.
This report prepared by sam rider
Delacorte, Aug 2002, 26.95, 438 pp.
John “Jett” Gavallan knows his Black Jet Securities Company has been in trouble since the bottom fell out of the dot.com world. Borrowing from his days as a fighter pilot, Jett takes a major chance on a Russian firm Mercury Broadband that he plans to go public via the New York Stock Exchange.
However, an online highly regarded financial analyst, Private Eye-PO, warns people that Mercury Broadband is a bad investment stunning Jett with the revelations. Jett's assistant Grafton Byrnes travels incognito to Moscow to uncover the truth while Jett tries to locate Private Eye-PO. Soon Jett heads to Russia to confront Kirov, the CEO of Mercury Broadband, who may be part of the Russian Mafia.
Though not quite on a par with NUMBERED ACCOUNT, THE FIRST BILLION is an interesting financial thriller that is at its best when Jett struggles between ethics and the deal of a lifetime. The latter half of the story line turns into an international chase tale with body counts outgrowing monetary accounts and Jett acting more like John Wayne. Still readers will find this adventure exhilarating but would have preferred that Christopher Reich keep the hero continuing his work on the bottom line of a ledger sheet rather than body bags.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner