THE FIRST BILLION.
AbeBooks Seller Since November 6, 1997Quantity Available: 1
AbeBooks Seller Since November 6, 1997Quantity Available: 1
About this Item
Title: THE FIRST BILLION.
Publisher: New York: Delacorte, (2002.) dj
Publication Date: 2002
Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: 1st Edition
About this title
In his stunning, bestselling debut novel <b>Numbered Account</b>--hailed by <i>The New York Times</i> as "smart," "sophisticated," and "wonderful"--Christopher Reich created a breathtaking classic of modern suspense. Now he returns to the electrifying world of international thrillers with an intricately plotted tale of cat and mouse set against the seething backdrop of post-World War II Germany. At once explosive, beautifully textured, and vividly paranoid, <b>The Runner</b> is a no-holds-barred powerhouse of a novel.<br /><br />July 1945. Devlin Judge, an American lawyer and former New York City police detective, has come to Europe as part of the International Military Tribunal to try Nazi war criminals. But Judge has a very personal agenda--to find the Nazi responsible for his brother's death: a man named Erich Seyss. An elite member of Hitler's SS and former Olympic sprinter known as the White Lion, Seyss has just escaped from an American POW camp. Determined to avenge his brother and bring Seyss to justice, Judge plunges into immediate pursuit. Menaced at every turn by forces determined to keep him from his prey, he enlists the help of Ingrid Bach, the beautiful daughter of one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany...and Seyss's former fiancÃ©e.<br /><br />To track Seyss through the chaos of a destroyed nation, Judge will put his life on the line to reveal the dark conspiracy surrounding him. For as the hunter becomes the hunted, the chase for the White Lion becomes nothing less than a race to save the future of Europe itself. <br /><br />Unfailingly gripping, rich in historical detail, and brilliantly atmospheric, <b>The Runner</b> is a true masterpiece of riveting storytelling.Review:
Set against the backdrop of post-World War II Germany, <i>The Runner</i> is the story of Devlin Judge, an ex-New York City detective turned lawyer on the hunt for Nazi SS soldier Erich Seyss, recently escaped from an American POW camp. Seyss, a former Olympic track star known as "The White Lion," is responsible for myriad heinous war crimes, including the murder of a platoon of unarmed American prisoners--one of whom was Judge's own brother. Initially a member of the International Legal Tribunal, set to try former Nazis for crimes against humanity, Judge begs for the opportunity to track Seyss down. With only a week in which to do so, his hunt for the cold-blooded killer leads Judge to a race not only for his own life but for the future of Europe itself. Judge is pursuing a killer, but he is also chasing the ghosts of guilt, having decided not to enlist in the hopes of advancing his legal career: "Erich Seyss was his confession and his penance, his expiation and absolution, all tucked into a black-and-silver uniform with a death's-head embroidered on its collar and his brother's blood on its cuff."<p> <i>The Runner</i> lacks the crackling tension of <i>Numbered Account</i>, Christopher Reich's first novel. Even the moments of crucial conflict, or of bloody disaster, seem wan and pallid. The novel is, paradoxically, handicapped by Reich's respect for historical detail: his interest in presenting the grim realities of postwar existence leads him into extensive descriptions of place and time that fail to merge with the story he spins. These "set pieces" stand awkwardly apart, like dour history professors coaxed into supervising the machinations of rambunctious students. Reich's general fidelity to detail also means that the moments in which he temporarily throws accuracy to the wind are painfully apparent: how on earth would Judge, a well-fed and well-dressed American, manage to look as if he belonged in a German work-group detail? And when would any three-star general ever tolerate the gum-cracking insouciance of Judge's driver Darren Honey, a sergeant with no regard for military hierarchy? Oddly enough, the authorial liberties Reich takes with General George Patton, saddling him with a megalomaniac's hatred of the Russians and a schemer's plot to redraw the boundaries of postwar Europe, are largely successful and add a welcome note of barely contained evil.</p><p> <i>The Runner</i> works best as a moving meditation on personal and social disjunction: Judge, Seyss, Patton, and the rest are desperately engaged in deciphering the proper place for prewar rules in the postwar chaos--and in confronting the uneasy suspicion that perhaps, after all, there is no place for them or for their beliefs. Judge must move past his easy assumption that the Allied victory was not "just a symbol of superior might but of superior morality": "Overnight, he'd become the hunted, not the hunter.... At some point during the last twenty-four hours, he'd crossed over an interior median into unknown waters. He'd abandoned the rigid structure of his previous life, renounced his worship of authority, and forsworn his devotion to rules and regulation. He'd tossed Hoyle to the wind, and he didn't care." <i>--Kelly Flynn</i></p>
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