Christopher Reich’s Matterhorn – Coming Out of Hiding to Catch a Killer

Mac Dekker was once a respected, effective, and feared CIA agent until he was wrongly accused of being a traitor. Faking his own death to protect his family, Mac became Robbie Steinhardt, living a farmer’s life in a peaceful Swiss village. Cut off from the world, Mac knows little about what’s been happening with his family until he hears a news report that an American, William Andrew Dekker, age 29, fell to his death in a climbing accident on the Matterhorn. 

Mac thought his son worked in the IT sector for a multinational corporation. He also knew that his son was an expert climber, because he had taught him. No way would Will have died climbing. What was his son doing on top of the Matterhorn? What did the news reports mean about “strange activity” on the mountain with a helicopter flying around? Mac has no choice but to leave his safe life and venture out into a life he left behind to learn what happened to his son.

Will followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the Marines and then becoming a CIA agent, taking on the dangerous missions like the ones that used to find their way to Mac. He fell in love with a Russian agent, Marina, who turned on her country. Will had yet to meet their daughter, Katya, who lived in Russia with Marina. Being together was always risky. They were meeting that day on top of the Matterhorn so that Marina could pass along to Will a flash drive containing information about an upcoming Russian attack, dubbed Hercules. Marina cautioned Will to give the data to someone he truly trusted, saying that the CIA had a mole who was working with the Russians. 

Marina’s instincts prove right when a helicopter landed on the Matterhorn. Out jumped a group of Russian agents, including Ilya Ivashka. Born of Russian parents, but raised and educated in the U.S. Ivashka joined the CIA when Mac did. For many years and numerous missions, Mac and Ivashka were inseparable. A triggering event, turned Ivashka against America and to embrace his Russian heritage. He was responsible for framing Mac and now, he is guilty of killing Mac’s son, Will.

Mac’s Swiss neighbors know him as a 70 year-old, with a gray beard, a weathered face, and stooped posture. He’s actually in his fifties and, between the farm work and exercise, in great shape. Although he’s has been out of the spy game for eight years, he still has contacts and, most of all, his skills. It doesn’t take Mac long to find out that Will’s body has been taken to the hospital in Sion, Switzerland. Disguising himself as a doctor, he gains access to the morgue and is able to view his son’s body. When he leaves the building, however, he passes a slim man with thick blond hair – Ilya. Whatever Will was working on involved his old nemesis and, Mac guesses, also means that Ilya killed his son.

Leaving the hospital with Will’s cellphone, certainly something Ilya was after, Mac calls the one person he knows can help, a Mossad agent, Ava Attal, his soulmate, the woman he truly loved. Though many years have passed, the passion is still there – on both sides – and Ava quickly signs on to help Mac discover what Will was working on. Both know the stakes are high. The evidence Will had would implicate the Russians and they want it back, no matter the costs. Mac is about to take on the most important mission of his life.

Christopher Reich (Photo Credit: Katja Reich)

Christopher Reich’s Matterhorn is a spycraft thriller at its best. (He also saves a shocking secret for the end of the book.) Mac is a compelling character, an aging former spy who may not run and climb as well as he did in his prime, but he’s still got the determination to battle the enemy. Reich grew up primarily in Switzerland and, according to press materials, has a lifelong passion for mountain climbing, especially in the Swiss Alps. And like Mac, Reich pushes his physical limits to keep himself in shape now that he’s in his sixties. Mac is a new character for Reich and, based on this first entry in the series, likely to stick around for a while. We hope.

Matterhorn
Christopher Reich

Top photo: Bigstock

About Charlene Giannetti (690 Articles)
Charlene Giannetti, editor of Woman Around Town, is the recipient of seven awards from the New York Press Club for articles that have appeared on the website. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Charlene began her career working for a newspaper in Pennsylvania, then wrote for several publications in Washington covering environment and energy policy. In New York, she was an editor at Business Week magazine and her articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines. She is the author of 13 non-fiction books, eight for parents of young adolescents written with Margaret Sagarese, including "The Roller-Coaster Years," "Cliques," and "Boy Crazy." She and Margaret have been keynote speakers at many events and have appeared on the Today Show, CBS Morning, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and many others. Her last book, "The Plantations of Virginia," written with Jai Williams, was published by Globe Pequot Press in February, 2017. Her podcast, WAT-CAST, interviewing men and women making news, is available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. She is one of the producers for the film "Life After You," focusing on the opioid/heroin crisis that had its premiere at WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, where it won two awards. The film is now available to view on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other services. Charlene and her husband live in Manhattan.