The Great Game

After years of patient preparation, a block of countries led by China and Russia stages an overnight financial coup to unseat the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Fortunes are made and lost in a matter of hours. But some have more far-ranging plans than financial gain.
Two innocent bystanders get caught in a vortex of political intrigue and swept into a deadly race to uncover the truth behind a high-stakes game among the world’s superpowers.


“The Great Game is an international intrigue and thriller piece and is a strong recommendation for readers who enjoy cat-and-mouse games … one might think such a thriller would revolve around the CIA and other agent clashes, but that’s one of the delights of The Great Game: its primary protagonist is a computer engineer with no prior ties to politics.   Add a waitress Maggie who unwittingly becomes involved and a series of murders that draw ever closer to two ordinary individuals not well versed in either politics or espionage, and you have a riveting story line cemented by very strong, believable protagonists.

Connecting the political to personal realms is a challenging achievement: too often either the politics aren’t properly explored, or the protagonists assume one-dimensional proportions in comparison to the wider political arena. Not so in The Great Game, which gives equal attention to both and so creates a novel filled with action, intrigue, and the concerns of two persons who find themselves playing a game they never asked for or thought about.

How do ordinary individuals become extraordinary? How can simple lives be changed by complicated circumstances? And how can even those with no special abilities rise to meet life-changing challenges from outside forces?  All these facets and more make The Great Game a satisfyingly-complex novel that engages the reader in just one battle of what will ultimately prove a greater war. Any who want a vivid, fast-paced adventure story will find its characters and action more than a cut above the ordinary.”

D. Donovan, Senior Book Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Readers’ Comments

“The Great Game is a thriller that is both smart and fun. Well written and engaging, the book is about a man struggling to survive after unintentionally getting embroiled in an international plot. The economic and philosophical exploration in the book is handled deftly and won’t leave you feeling turned-off even if you don’t agree with everything.
If you like your thrillers to have engaging plot-twists AND make you think, then you should enjoy The Great Game.”   By C. Horton

“This is a cautionary tale wrapped in an action thriller. The writer is clearly knowledgeable about financial and economic matters and I personally believe his scenarios are spot on.
It’s possible to just enjoy the novel as an action adventure involving high stakes financial games, international intrigue, spies, murder, mistaken identities, and an everyman protagonist unwillingly and randomly swept up in it all. However, the deeper, underlying currents reflect the world in which we live today, and I advise readers to take heed of the message.
D.R. Bell has written a well-reasoned and down-to-earth novel with a normal-guy protagonist that I could relate to. It is simultaneously fun, sobering, and thought-provoking.”  By R. Moster

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From the Author

This book was born out of an entirely random coincidence. I was at my desk rereading Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, thinking how unfortunate that this classic of 20th century Russian literature with its collage of timeless ethical questions, fantasy, and realism is not well known in the U.S. My phone rang, and I looked for something to place in the book while I answered. When I came back to the book, I realized that the small piece of colored cement I used as an impromptu bookmark was chipped from the fallen Berlin Wall back in 1989. For me, there was symbolism in combining a blistering satire of a monstrous bureaucratic state with an emblem of that state’s downfall 50 years later: In the end, the writer triumphed over the tyrant. I was born in the former Soviet Union and even a few years before the fall it looked like an invincible superpower, but in reality the Soviet Empire had already been doomed by its deteriorating financial situation. Are there any lessons in this for us? Have we learned from the two market crashes and financial upheavals we have had already in this still young century?

I wanted to write a book that would not only entertain but also cause the reader to think and question, a book that would sweep the reader into a story with a serious message behind it but without lecturing. I wanted it to have fast-pace action, intrigue, love, courage, and betrayal. I wanted to weave in reflections on: human nature and its propensity to be seduced by power, conflict between the individual and the state, the government’s role in the economy, and the interplay between the material and the spiritual. It’s clear from the book that I don’t approve of the massive deficits that our fiscal policies are leaving to the younger generation, but you won’t find a single mention of a particular party as we are all in this together (and I believe that both major parties are to blame). Lastly, I wanted to bring to the American reader The Master and Margarita, a book that deserves a place on people’s bookshelves (or in their e-readers).