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The First Billion
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The First Billion

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,657 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Christopher Reich electrified readers with Numbered Account and The Runner, his first two international thrillers. Now the New York Times bestselling author whose work has been called “gripping” Chicago Tribune, “chilling” The Denver Post, “wonderful” The New York Times Book Review, ratchets up the stakes in an ingeniously plotted story of nerve-jangling intrigue and hot-
Hardcover, 438 pages
Published August 20th 2002 by Delacorte Press
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Aug 04, 2008 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I have read six other books and still trying to finish this one. That may be a sign...
Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE FIRST BILLION by Christopher Reich is 10 cassettes in the audio version. It was read by James Daniels and is approximately 15 hours long.


In exactly six days, Jett Gavallan will take Russia's top media company public on the New York Stock Exchange. A former fighter pilot and now the CEO of Black Jet Securities, Gavallan is no stranger to risk. But when rumors of fraud threaten to send the deal south - and with it everything Gavallan has worked so hard to build - he dispatches his
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Mr. Reich's third novel and I gave his first two five stars. This one didn't match the tempo of his others but it was still a very interesting read. Our hero, John Gavallan, heads up a mid size, full service investment banking organization. They have made their mark in the industry handling IPOs, i.e. Initial Public Offerings. They have not scored a "big one" in some time and a cash flow injection is sorely needed. As the reader is introduced into John's life he and his associates are in ...more
Jun 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting insight to the greedy IPO world and a nice mix with action and suspense; main character is a little too perfect and too rich....needed more flaws...puts entire fighter jet on AMEX....really!
Barbara Sparks
Typical mystery writing. Wall street, Russia. If you don’t have anything else to read, this will at least entertain you if you can make it through the financial stuff. Drags in the middle
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Lots of bad Ruskies, murders, business machinations are not enough to make this novel spark interest throughout. 4 of 10 stars
the beginning needed some editing. but the story line was really good. the forensic accountants always get the bad guys. august, 2012
Nov 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this one too! Quite a bit happening in it and it had some finance in it which always interests me.
Was surprised I enjoyed this as much as I did (perhaps because I bought it for a quarter as an old used library book). This is a great thriller that was really hard to put down.
Interesting premise and complex plot.

I almost stopped reading after about 200 pages, with so much tedious character development and so little plot advancement. Decided to keep reading and found the next 200 pages worth the perseverance.

Given the strength of the build-up, I thought the ending was a little weak, simplistic (especially choices by law enforcement), and anti-climactic. But still a good read -and I will try this author again.
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
rondall young
Maybe a million

Too many leaps in the plot and gratuitous violence. Not as good as his other books. Will continue to read Reich's books
Aug 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Reich, Christopher. THE FIRST BILLION. (2002). ***. Reich has garnered a reputation of being the John Grisham of the financial world. His books are, technically, thrillers, but most of the thrills in this novel are forced. Having worked in M&A, there are big holes in Reich’s plot for this one that are immediately obvious. The plot outline given by the publishers follows. “In exactly six days, Jeff Gavallan will take Russia’s top media company public on the New York Stock Exchange. A former f ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, paperback
This book was, at times, highly entertaining. However, it also had long periods of blah, blah, blah. It wasn't until page two hundred that the real action and suspense was introduced, and even then the author skirts over what could have been some really intense scenes. While I certainly liked the main character and his love interest, I didn't always see some of the twists and turns their adventure would take, and liked how they figured things out in the end. The bad guy, Kirov wasn't the most di ...more
Deborah Gray
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thrill ride through a murky Russian world of espionage and high stakes, which eventually take the reader all over the globe. I don't know anything about Russian political and criminal elements (which seem to be the same thing), nor much at all about IPOs and the moneyed stratosphere the main character, Jett Gavallan, inhabits. But I felt the verisimilitude of the research, and the layered street knowledge of geography. There was some suspension of disbelief in the multitude of plot twists, but ...more
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The First Billion, like Reich's other books that I've read (Numbered Account and Invasion of Privacy) is a big, meaty tome with lots of wonky Wall Street info, great characters and, of course, a good deal of action. What else could one ask for? A few reviewers have disparaged the book because the hero buys a one million dollar airplane with his American Express. I would say that is not at all untoward given that the transaction was approved by an Amex executive based on the cardholder having the ...more
Dave Bernard
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For anyone from the Silicon Valley who has been part of an IPO and all the crazy things that can happen on the path to fame and fortune, you ain't seen nothing yet! Reich builds a strong central character who fights and claws and won't take no for an answer as he struggles to take his company public. Everything from international gangsters to internal betrayals keep the book interesting and a fast read. As usual the author seems to speak from a position of expertise in all matters financial. I l ...more
Apr 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christopher Reich is the successful writer in the whole techno-thriller spy genre. His background is the world of finance. This is an area where I do not have a lot of prior knowledge, so I needed to read slower than normal. Reich writes an in-depth book with deep characters. Mr. Reich appears to be good when sticking with his expertise in finance, and staying close to that theme. I am looking forward to reading another of Reich's books

Nov 04, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This book was a very difficult read. The first 1/4 to 1/3 of the book just felt completely disjointed. Finally after about the first half of the book things settled down a bit and there was some rhythm to the plot. Last half of the book was worth wading through the first half, though there were times during the first half that it didn't feel like it would get any better.
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Christopher Reich writes smart, entertaining and highly readable books. Yes, they're not high fiction, but they are fun and a great distraction. I've read about five of his books and none of them have failed to keep my interest and have enough twists to keep the plot unpredictable and interesting.
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read Christopher Reich's first 2 books and not thinking much of them, this was great - not nearly as much waffle in it as the first 2 books and it had loads of intrigue, action and a bit of silliness as well. Buying a fighter jet for $1 million on your AMEX card, yeah right! Still, it was a fun read.
Joel Ungar
Sep 29, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Rather formulaic. I chose this book simply by spotting the spine while at the library. But once I got into it, it just seemed rather formulaic. Flashbacks occurred at predictable interviews. The major characters, at different times, all seemed to stop and look at themselves in the mirror. There just wasn't anything all that intriguing.
Ralph Dunkin
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I had read all of Christopher Reich's thrillers until I came across this one in our public library. This book came out in 2002 at the height of the IPO's related to the "new" internet. If you like a page turner with lots,of surprises, this book is for you. It deals with Wall Street, Russia, the mob and so much more. I like this type of read.
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So I enjoyed reading the book and ripped through it fairly quickly. I enjoy the genre but it's the equivalent of Star magazine for me. Fun to read at the checkout counter but quickly forgotten. I read it over a vacation to help the time pass and it fit the bill perfectly but if you're looking for more substance look elsewhere.
Foster Winter
The action kept me coming back to move through the story. However, with over 600 pages to work with some additional back-story might have been able to increase the plausibility of the situations. Perhaps this is a story that needs a prequel.
Solome Okolong
While I thought it was a good story, it didn't challenge me like I had thought. Nothing in the plot was unpredictable. I thought Leonid Kirov's storyline didn't add to the plot..or maybe I missed something??? Still a good read though.
Sep 22, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I never did finish this book. I just couldn't get into it. I did read the Devil's Bankder and I really enjoyed that book. It was fast paced and very interesting but this book never caught my fancy. I have too many books in my "to be read" pile to spend on reading a book I don't enjoy.
Jeff Holker
Couldn't put it down!

Well written, fast-paced, relevant (in 2015) storyline involving the murky underbelly on Russian thuggery, mafia and oligarchy. The characters were plausible and well developed through the book. I might argue this was Reich's finest work! Enjoy!
Charles Maccarthy
... this book is a thriller, fast-paced and full of suspense. A Harvard graduate gets a job t find who murdered his father. Go with him and get to know more about banking (Swiss banks) from the inside. An expertly woven novel. Reich is definitely up there wih the great novelsists.
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He was born in Tokyo and moved to Los Angeles in 1965. He attended Georgetown University and the University of Texas and worked in Switzerland before returning to the United States to become an author. He lives in San Diego and is the author of seven novels. He has a wife and 2 kids. His father is Willy Wolfgang Reich

"A relentlessly fast-paced espionage thriller, ripped from tomorrow's headlines b
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