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Choke Point (Risk Agent Series #2)
     

Choke Point (Risk Agent Series #2)

3.8 10
by Ridley Pearson
 

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When an award-winning foreign journalist reveals the existence of an Amsterdam-based sweatshop known as a “knot shop” that employs and enslaves young girls as laborers, private security firm Rutherford Risk is hired by a philanthropist to find it and shut it down.

David “Sarge” Dulwich, Knox’s former boss from their government

Overview

When an award-winning foreign journalist reveals the existence of an Amsterdam-based sweatshop known as a “knot shop” that employs and enslaves young girls as laborers, private security firm Rutherford Risk is hired by a philanthropist to find it and shut it down.

David “Sarge” Dulwich, Knox’s former boss from their government contractor days, knows that Knox's cultural knowledge, combat skills, and sympathy for the abused make him right for the job. Joined by Grace Chu, whose more subtle skills for acquiring sensitive tech information help to balance Knox's improvisational style, he heads to Amsterdam in an attempt to dismantle the child labor operation and rescue the girls. In their way is a crime organization that has permeated the neighborhoods with goodwill turning even the victims' parents against their would-be saviors. With enemies around every corner, Knox and Grace can't tell the good from the bad.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Pearson’s fine sequel to 2012’s The Risk Agent, philanthropist Graham Winston—who’s famous for supporting causes like Greenpeace, Human Rights Watch, and Doctors Without Borders—hires Rutherford Risk, a private security firm, to shut down an illegal Amsterdam rug factory that uses kidnapped girls as forced labor. Risk’s field operations manager, David Dulwich, puts security agent John Knox, who supports “Starbucks and Anheuser-Busch, Victoria’s Secret and Apple,” and Knox’s partner, former forensic accountant and computer expert Grace Chu, on the case. Knox, who’s big and tough, is attracted to Grace, who wants to prove herself as an able field agent, but he’s unsure how she feels about him. They make a good team, with his brawn and her brains, as they fight and kill their way to the top of the child-abuse cabal. Plenty of action and some steamy sex help make the pages fly by. Author tour. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (June)
From the Publisher
 Praise for CHOKEPOINT

"John Knox and Grace Chu (The Risk Agent) return in another high-stakes international thriller set this time in Amsterdam…. Pearson has written another compelling thriller. Knox and Chu are protagonists who engage the reader…. A winner.”
Library Journal

"[Chu and Knox] make a good team, with his brawn and her brains, as they fight and kill their way to the top of the child-abuse cabal. Plenty of action and some steamy sex help make the pages fly by."  

—Publishers Weekly 

"It's obvious why Pearson has earned praise as thriller grand master; the pacing is flawlessly anxiety ridden, and the investigative elements are richly layered."
Booklist

 

 Praise for THE RISK AGENT

 

“Rich with the atmosphere of Shanghai…and filled with breathtaking suspense. …Famous for his plotting and attention to details, Pearson is off to a great start with his compelling and multilayered new protagonists.”

Library Journal (starred) 

“A cunning thriller worthy of the promised series… Exotic locale. Credible heroics. Vicarious thrills. Fans will want more, and soon.” 
Kirkus Reviews

“Pearson, who lived with his family in Shanghai for a year, has created an intense and realistic thriller. The atmosphere and culture of China draw readers into a new world.... With “The Risk Agent,” he has a great start to what appears to be a new series.”

Associated Press

"Forensic accountant Grace Chu is a cool, whip-smart beauty trained in the Chinese military. John Knox is a combat veteran with focus and ferocity in equal measure....Pearson renders steady suspense and a vibrant portrait of a city that blends history, mystery, and a remarkably resilient citizenry."

Booklist 

Kirkus Reviews
Now that they've established their credentials in Shanghai (The Risk Agent, 2012, etc.), John Knox and Grace Chu, of Rutherford Risk, go up against a coldblooded sweatshop owner in Amsterdam. When you have as much money as philanthropist Graham Winston, and maybe political aspirations as well, you can direct your millions at any injustice you see, and what Winston sees, thanks to a blistering newspaper exposé by Sonia Pangarkar, is little girls knotting handmade rugs. Some of the pathetically underage workers, like Maja Sehovic, lead relatively normal second lives as schoolchildren; others, like Berna Ranatunga, are literally chained to their jobs. Winston hires private security firm Rutherford to shut down the knot shop Sonia profiled, and David Dulwich assigns the job to his friend John Knox and forensic accountant Grace Chu. It's a lucky thing that Winston's expense account is generous, since pretty much everything that could possibly go wrong does. Sonia would rather sleep with Knox than open up to him or introduce him to her sources, even when those sources ominously begin to disappear. The girls' parents are no more eager to say anything that might endanger their daughters or compromise themselves. Gerhardt Kreiger, the middleman Knox contacts to put together a fictional purchasing deal that will give Knox more information about where the rugs are made, turns out to be playing a deeper game of his own. So is Chief Inspector Joshua Brower, who Dulwich assured Knox would be a reliable police contact. And whoever is behind the knot shop is cunning, determined and willing to use violence against Knox and Grace and anyone else who gets close to him. Pearson plots resourcefully, and the complications are intelligently varied. The action is so nonstop, however, that long before the end, many readers will feel as exhausted, if nowhere near as battered, as Grace and Knox.
Library Journal
John Knox and Grace Chu (The Risk Agent) return in another high-stakes international thriller set this time in Amsterdam. Their boss has an assignment that drops the duo into the world of child slave labor. Knox and Chu's usual methods of obtaining information are thrown out the window because potential sources know they will die if they talk. Knox teams up with a reporter who cares more about the story than about safety, and everyone is seeking a little girl who holds the key to stopping the abuse. VERDICT Drawing on the horrors of the international trade in child slaves, Pearson has written another compelling thriller. Knox and Chu are protagonists who engage the reader. Although the book sometimes seems like a prolonged ad for Apple products, it is still a winner for the author's many fans. [See Prepub Alert, 12/14/12.]—Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399158841
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/04/2013
Series:
Risk Agent Series , #2
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.34(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
 Praise for CHOKEPOINT

"John Knox and Grace Chu (The Risk Agent) return in another high-stakes international thriller set this time in Amsterdam…. Pearson has written another compelling thriller. Knox and Chu are protagonists who engage the reader…. A winner.”
Library Journal

"[Chu and Knox] make a good team, with his brawn and her brains, as they fight and kill their way to the top of the child-abuse cabal. Plenty of action and some steamy sex help make the pages fly by."   —Publishers Weekly 

"It's obvious why Pearson has earned praise as thriller grand master; the pacing is flawlessly anxiety ridden, and the investigative elements are richly layered."
Booklist

 
 Praise for THE RISK AGENT

 
 
“Rich with the atmosphere of Shanghai…and filled with breathtaking suspense. …Famous for his plotting and attention to details, Pearson is off to a great start with his compelling and multilayered new protagonists.”

Library Journal (starred) 

“A cunning thriller worthy of the promised series… Exotic locale. Credible heroics. Vicarious thrills. Fans will want more, and soon.” 
Kirkus Reviews

“Pearson, who lived with his family in Shanghai for a year, has created an intense and realistic thriller. The atmosphere and culture of China draw readers into a new world.... With “The Risk Agent,” he has a great start to what appears to be a new series.”
Associated Press

"Forensic accountant Grace Chu is a cool, whip-smart beauty trained in the Chinese military. John Knox is a combat veteran with focus and ferocity in equal measure....Pearson renders steady suspense and a vibrant portrait of a city that blends history, mystery, and a remarkably resilient citizenry."
Booklist 
 

Meet the Author

Ridley Pearson is the author of more than two dozen novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Risk Agent, In Harm’s Way, Killer Summer, Killer View and Killer Weekend; the bestselling Lou Boldt crime series; and many books for young readers. He lives with his wife and two daughters, dividing his time between St. Louis, Missouri, and Hailey, Idaho.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
St. Louis, Missouri
Date of Birth:
March 13, 1953
Place of Birth:
Glen Cove, New York
Education:
Kansas University, B.A., Brown University
Website:
http://www.ridleypearson.com/

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Choke Point 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
In the second novel in what is billed as an “international thriller series” (“Risk Agent” was the first entry), Ridley Pearson brings the return of John Knox, a man who has a useful ‘cover’ as a legitimate international exporter, and Grace Chu, a Chinese woman who was a former forensic accountant but has “recently proven herself a quick study of computer hacking.” She also holds a master’s degree in criminology from USC and, because of her former training with the Chinese Army, “is no slouch in field ops.” The fact that she speaks five or six languages is only a plus. They are both now occasionally employed by Rutherford Risk, a private security firm. The book takes place for the most part in Amsterdam, although it opens briefly in Tunisia, where John is plying his trade, that is, until his old buddy David “Sarge” Dulwich finds him and coaxes him to take on a job in Amsterdam. Their long-standing friendship goes back to the days when they were both working for a private contractor based out of Kuwait where John saved Sarge’s life, twice (once when the truck in which he was riding was hit by an IED). Both John and Grace find themselves becoming addicted to their new calling, their former professions seeming to have been a waste of their talents, and the adrenaline rush undeniable. Their new assignment deals with child exploitation. They are joined, in a somewhat ambivalent relationship, by Sonia Pangarkar, a gorgeous reporter working on a story about “the poorer neighborhoods of Amsterdam and the European struggle with immigrants.” More than that, it is about a ring of men “who kidnap ten-year-olds and chain them to posts and make them work 18-hour days” in what are called “knot shops,” i.e., sweatshops where intricately hand-knotted Oriental rug knockoffs are made, with quantity demanded. And that’s the least horrific part of it. Rutherford Risk was called in as the work is seen as “typically unwanted by, or too dangerous for, others.” But Knox and Grace thrive on just that. Thrillers are not, generally, my favorite sub-genre. But the author’s name beckoned to me. The book is undeniably exciting and suspenseful, densely plotted, and the three main characters very intriguing. It makes for enjoyable, good reading.
Laced More than 1 year ago
First, let me say that I have loved Ridley Pearson's books for years. I made it through the first book in this series and thought, okay, he has set the scene for the next one, and it will be more enjoyable. It is not. I cannot even bring myself to finish it, and that is saying something for me. I read and listen to several books a week, but I give up on this series. Please, please go back to the Lou Boldt and Walt Fleming series. They are far superior to this plodding series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series keeps getting better. The two protagonists play well off each other and have great chemistry. A great summer read! Hoping for more.
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