Once a Thief (Simon Riske #4), by Christopher Reich

Eight stars

Back for another stunning thriller by Christopher Reich, I was ready for a great read! Reich did not disappoint with this piece, which mixes action with some international espionage. There is action from the outset, which does not die down until the final page turn, providing the reader with something entertaining throughout. Another stellar piece by Reich.

Simon Riske finds himself in California, helping to facilitate the massive purchase of a vintage vehicle that has recently been restored. However, things take a turn when Sylvia Bettencourt demands that the sale be halted until the car’s original gearbox can be found, Riske finds himself in a panic. He does all he can to pave the way for the sale, but trips on an old Russian enemy that could surely prove troublesome. He’s back in Europe, but those are not the only memories he has at the time.

With the gearbox in the hands of a ruthless criminal, Riske will have to bend the rules in order to appease the mystery buyer, all the while thirsting himself into a great deal of trouble. Riske is about to secure the gearbox, when Sylvia shows him something highly prejudicial that could put Riske in jail for murder, forcing the man to work, if only temporarily, for Sylvie. It’s money lauding at the highest level, something that Riske vowed he would never help facilitate. However, what other choice does he have if he is to stay on the right side of the law?

All the while, a car bomb explodes and kills a Swiss banker. His daughter is baffled by what’s happened and begins investigating on her own. What she learns is intriguing, but there are those with eyes on her, hoping that they will be able to silence this amateur sleuth before she learns the truth. Riske is pulled into the middle of helping her as well, as he tries to dismantle the money laundering operation at its core. Reich does well with this piece, amping up the action at every turn and keeping Simon Riske extremely busy.

I have always enjoyed the work of Christopher Reich and find that he gets to the heart of the matter with ease. His writing is fast-paced and usually on point, keeping the reader enthralled until the final page turn. Just what I needed as I pushed through the weekend.

Simon Riske is a great protagonist, offering up a little more of his backstory and a great deal of development. Riske has done it all and thought that he could turn away from his life in the criminal world, but it would seem that he has to blur the lines ones in a while. Riske shows off his abilities well and keeps the reader wondering what they will discover next, which only adds to the greatness of the story.

Christopher Reich uses all the elements to create a stellar piece and develops in through a strong narrative. The story flows with ease and keeps the reader guessing as things take many twists throughout. I find that his use of varied characters keeps things exciting and intriguing in equal measure, forcing the reader to follow many paths and keep things straight. A mix of chapter lengths has the reader intrigued throughout, allowing them to wonder what’s next for this fast-paced spy with a past he wishes could stay hidden. I am eager to see what’s to come and how series fans will be surprised in the next novel. Always a great reading experience.

Kudos, Mr. Reich, for an entertaining reader. You never fail to impress!