The recipe for Reich’s forgettable tale of suspense is one part North by Northwest, one part The Da Vinci Code and one part American Treasure.
Triumphing over a broken home, an endless series of foster placements and a felony conviction, Thomas Bolden at 32 is a director of Harrison Weiss, the New York investment bank, with a nice salary, a nice girlfriend and an unlimited future that ends the night he’s snatched from the street by strangers who take him to an unfinished Harlem office building, where a mysterious malefactor demands that Bolden tell him everything he knows about Crown and Bobby Stillman. Bolden knows nothing about either one—not even who or what they are—but that’s the wrong answer for his kidnappers. Escaping from certain death for the first of many times, Bolden turns a lesser goon he’s captured over to the police but then decides to forgive and forget. Not so the kidnappers, now alarmed that their attempt to find out what he knows has told him too much. They frame him first for sexual harassment and assault, then for murder, and although Bolden takes it on the lam like a seasoned veteran of Hitchcock films, his adversaries have formidable resources for tracking him down and setting him up. What secret would be worth such a full-court press to protect? Only a diabolical conspiracy stretching from the Founding Fathers to an assassination planned for the very next day after Bolden goes on the run. The book offers too little of the financial wheeling and dealing that Reich (Numbered Account, 1997, etc.) does better than anyone else, and too many leftovers from other thrillers.
The results may leave you stirred, but not shaken.