Numbered Account was Christopher Reich's first book. And not just his first work to be published, but the first Reich ever tried to write. He never took an English class in college. The drawers of his work desk did not contain drafts of earlier novels, short stories or aborted screenplays. Numbered Account was it for him. One chance to make it as a writer or return to the salt mines of the financial world-more mergers and acquisitions-more back to work. "The struggling writer, the starving artist.-.that's the other guy," Reich liked to say.
Numbered Account came from Reich's own wanderings of the snowy, cobblestone alleyways of Geneva, on his way to and from work at the Union Bank of Switzerland. There, he learned the sophisticated art of handling money for the richest people in the world. For Reich, the seeds of Numbered Account were planted on his first day of work. But it was six years later before he realized that some people are cut out for fourteen-hour days and he wasn't one of them. So Reich decided to write a novel and always knew that it was going to be a thriller. To his credit, Numbered Account went on to become a New York Times bestseller.
Assassins, the story for this collection, finds the hero of Numbered Account, Nick Neumann, back on Swiss soil with a new mission. This is the first time Reich has written about Nick since 1997. All thriller writers know that it's never wise to fall in love with any particular character. Who knows when they might turn a corner and walk right into a knife, or a gun, or a poison-tipped umbrella?
So Nick Neumann should tread carefully.