Review

The Patriots Club

by Christopher Reich



Christopher Reich is one of a crop of new thriller writers who
began to be published in the late 1990s. He started out strong with
the memorable NUMBERED ACCOUNT and has continued on an ever-upward
trajectory. But what has gone before will not prepare anyone for
his latest work, THE PATRIOTS CLUB.

Reich takes familiar elements that might be stale in less talented
hands and uses them in unexpected ways. You have the rich guy who
grew up hard on the streets; lives turned upside down, for no
apparent reason; and the shadowy extra-governmental group that
manipulates everything behind the scenes.

Thomas Bolden is the rich guy with the Oliver Twist childhood, the
kid who was in and out of foster homes and reform schools but who
brought his street smarts to Wall Street and made a killing. Bolden
is an up-and-comer with the acquisitions department of a major
bank, maintaining an edge in matters financial while never
forgetting the kids on the street and the life he left behind. What
begins as a late-night mugging, however, turns into something far
more, as Bolden comes to realize that he is being pursued --- and
that his pursuers have so many resources that they seem to be
omnipresent. The worst part is that it appears they have made a
mistake, and that Bolden isn't the target at all.

Within the space of twelve hours, Bolden is on the run, his life in
ruins as he is sought by the police for a murder he did not commit
and by a group of fanatics who will stop at nothing to eliminate
him, believing that he is a threat to their operation --- one that
will affect the most powerful office in the world.

Bolden finds an ally in a mysterious woman, a 1960s student radical
who has been wanted for murder for decades. Bolden doesn't know
her, but she knows him --- and she is part of the reason why he
finds himself running for his life. Bolden's only hope for survival
lies with her, an aging cop whose heart is a beating time bomb, and
Bolden's own street smarts, even as his pursuers close in upon the
greatest prize of all in Washington, D.C.

Reich kicks out all the stops in THE PATRIOTS CLUB, a meticulously
plotted, exquisitely told story that will keep you up past your
bedtime. There is a pivotal scene near the beginning of the novel
--- when Bolden's life is turned upside down --- that is worthy of
Hitchcock. And the rest of the book is its equal. There were times
when I thought I should be reading it with a bottle of
beta-blockers in one hand and a bronchodilator in the other. Don't
miss THE PATRIOTS CLUB --- it's one of the best thrillers of the
year.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 14, 2011

The Patriots Club
by Christopher Reich

  • Publication Date: July 25, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 044024143X
  • ISBN-13: 9780440241430