Rules of Betrayal

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The most riveting novel yet in Christopher Reich’s New York Times bestselling series—featuring Dr. Jonathan Ransom and his undercover-agent wife Emma, a dangerous woman with a mysterious past who has gone rogue in the high-stakes, serpentine world of international spies.

In 1980, a secret American B-52 crashes high in a remote mountain range on the Pakistan–Afghanistan border. Nearly thirty years later, and spanning locales from those peaks to ...

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The most riveting novel yet in Christopher Reich’s New York Times bestselling series—featuring Dr. Jonathan Ransom and his undercover-agent wife Emma, a dangerous woman with a mysterious past who has gone rogue in the high-stakes, serpentine world of international spies.

In 1980, a secret American B-52 crashes high in a remote mountain range on the Pakistan–Afghanistan border. Nearly thirty years later, and spanning locales from those peaks to New York City, a terrible truth will be revealed.

Jonathan Ransom returns as the resourceful doctor thrown into a shadowy world of double and triple agents where absolutely no one can be trusted. To stay alive, Ransom must unravel the mystery surrounding his wife—an enigmatic and lethal spy who plays by her own rules—and discover where her loyalties truly lie.

Rules of Betrayal is a masterfully plotted novel that cements Christopher Reich’s reputation as one of the most admired espionage thriller writers today.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reich's outstanding third thriller featuring Dr. Jonathan Ransom (after Rules of Vengeance) finds the courageous surgeon, who no longer works for Doctors Without Borders, in the hinterlands of Afghanistan, where he gets caught in a Taliban raid that ends with him being choppered out of a vicious firefight. As in the two previous novels, Jonathan becomes enmeshed in a mission that's run by Division, a secret U.S. government agency. The series' ongoing and fascinating twist is that Jonathan's wife, the extremely capable and extremely deadly Emma, may or may not be a Division agent, a Russian spy, or something else entirely. Jonathan willingly enters the dark world of espionage to rescue Emma after she falls afoul of Taliban warrior Sultan Haq and an evil arms dealer known as Lord Balfour. Emma's liberation of a nuclear bomb lost by the U.S. in the mountains of Pakistan in 1980 leads to an untied thread that will have readers eagerly awaiting the next installment. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780099556329
  • Publisher: Arrow Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011

Meet the Author

Christopher Reich
CHRISTOPHER REICH is the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Deception, Rules of Vengeance, Numbered Account, and The Runner. His novel The Patriots Club won the International Thriller Writers award for Best Novel in 2006. He lives in Encinitas, California, with his wife and two daughters.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt


Zabul Province, Afghanistan

Present day

They formed on the plain at dawn.

Man and beast and machine spread across the hard brown dirt in a line one hundred meters across. There were horses and jeeps and pickup trucks with heavy machine guns mounted on the flatbeds. They numbered only fifty men, and the villagers counted one hundred times that, but they were committed men. Warriors united under the banner of heaven. Sons of Tamerlane.

The commander stood in the rear of his Hilux pickup, binoculars to his eyes, surveying his target. He was tall and formidable, and he wore his black wool turban piled high on his head, the trailing folds wrapped tightly around his face to guard against the bitter cold. His name was Sultan Haq. He was thirty years old. He had been imprisoned for six years, twenty-three hours a day, in a small, clean cage in a hot place far, far away. In deference to his name, and to his habit of growing his fingernails long and keeping them as sharp as a bird of prey's talons, his jailers had called him "the Hawk."

The Hawk studied the cluster of low-slung mud buildings situated among the foothills two kilometers away. Through the mist, he could make out the town bazaar. Already shopkeepers were at work setting out their wares. Vendors cooked meat over brazier fires. Children and dogs ran up and down alleyways.

He lowered his binoculars and looked at his men. Arrayed on either side of him were six vehicles identical to his own, battered Toyota four-by-fours with mounted .30 caliber machine guns. His men crouched at the base of the armament, Kalashnikovs clutched and ready, spare clips tucked into the leather bandoliers strung across their chests. Several among them carried old Soviet-era RPGs. In between the trucks, twenty or more horses moved anxiously, steam issuing from their nostrils, hooves pawing the ground. Their riders held their mounts at bay, waiting for the signal.

The men wore no common uniform. Their clothes were ragged and dirty. But they were an army all the same. They had trained and drilled together. They had fought and been blooded. They were without mercy.

Sultan Haq raised a hand into the air. As one, the gunners cocked the machine guns. The sound of metal striking metal reverberated across the barren landscape. The horses whinnied madly. He closed his fist, andhis men rose to their feet and let out a fierce cry. Throwing back his head, Haq joined them, feeling the spirit of his ancestors rise within him. Closing his eyes, he envisioned the rampaging horde. He saw thundering hooves and flashing swords and smelled acrid smoke filling the air. He heard the screams of the vanquished and tasted death on his tongue.

He opened his eyes and returned to the present. Once more he was at home on the flat lands of eastern Afghanistan. He pounded his fist on the roof of the cab, and the pickup roared to life and accelerated across the fallow fields. In a few short months, these same fields would come to life as the poppy awoke, grew, and bloomed. Last year these fields had yielded three thousand kilos of raw opium, earning its farmers millions of U.S. dollars-more than enough to purchase stores and weapons to equip a thousand of his men.

The village must be brought under the Taliban's white flag. It was a question of economics, not religion.

A bullet cut the air above Haq's head, and a split second later the crack of the gunshot reached his ear. Dispassionately, he watched as the villagers armed themselves and formed a hasty skirmish line. Still he held back from giving the order to fire.

Seconds passed, and the air was alive with gunfire, lead whizzing past like a swarm of angry bees. A shot splintered the windshield of the pickup next to him. He glimpsed a spray of blood, and the vehicle peeled off.

"Commence firing," he said into his two-way radio.

The first mortar landed in the center of the village bazaar. A geyser of dirt shot into the air. A second mortar exploded, followed by a third. Confused, and unsure of where to direct their fire, the skirmish line broke.

The Hawk looked on with satisfaction. He had positioned two squads on the higher ground south of the village to deliver fire from the rear while he attacked from the front. It was a classic hammer-and-anvil maneuver as taught by the United States Army Handbook of Infantry Tactics. Remarkably, he had found the handbook in the prison library. He had committed every page and illustration to memory.

The truck climbed a rise and the village came into full view. It was a scene of chaos, with men, women, and children scrambling in every direction, seeking cover where none was to be had. Turning, he tapped the gunner on the shoulder. The machine gun roared to life, spraying the square in disciplined bursts as gunners from the other pickups opened fire. Bodies dropped to the ground. Entire walls of shops and offices disintegrated and collapsed. A house caught fire.

In his free hand, Sultan Haq clutched a Remington long-barrel sniper rifle pried from the fingers of the enemy. It was a fine and accurate weapon with a polished maple stock and the words "Barnes" and"USMC" carved into the butt. It fired only a single round, but a single round was enough. As a boy, he'd hunted bighorn sheep in the rugged mountains of Kunar Province in the north. He knew how to shoot.

He signaled for his truck to slow and, raising the rifle to his eye, found a target, a young man running up the hillside clutching a woman's hand. He closed his finger around the trigger. The rifle kicked pleasurably. The young man fell to the ground. Pleased, Haq shouted for the driver to accelerate. The truck mounted a final hillock and barreled into the village.

An elderly mullah ran in front of the truck, waving his arms furiously. "Stop!" he shouted.

Haq halted alongside the man and jumped to the ground. "This village is now under my control," he said. "You will follow the dictates of Abdul Haq and the Haq clan."

The elder nodded abjectly, tears rolling down his wrinkled cheeks. "I surrender."

Haq raised an arm. "Cease fire!"

He waited as his soldiers shepherded the townsfolk toward a water fountain at the center of the bazaar. When they arrived, he ordered the elder to his knees. The old man complied. Haq put the barrel of his rifle to his head and shot him.

Stepping away from the body, he removed a list of names from his pocket. "Where is Abdullah Masri?" he called.

There was no answer. He aimed his rifle at a weak man with an insufficient growth of facial hair and shot him dead. Then he repeated the question. A stout man emerged from a store that had been selling DVDs of Western movies and Japanese television sets.

"You are Masri?" asked Haq.

The man nodded.

Haq took his time slipping a bullet into the rifle, then shot the man in the head.

"Where is Muhammad Fawzi?"

One by one, Sultan Haq called out the names of the village's leaders. He executed the schoolteacher and the grocer. He executed a homosexual and a woman suspected of adultery. For months he had been spying on the town, readying for this moment.

There was one last thing to do.

Climbing into the cab of his pickup, he pointed to a large whitewashed building that housed the village school. Like most of the buildings in the region, it was built with stone and mud. The driver positioned the truck's tail at the front of the school. A second truck came alongside. Moving backward, then forward, then backward again, the trucks battered the wall until it collapsed. Then they moved to the next wall and did the same, until the school was no more.

Afterward, his men walked among the rubble, gathering books, maps, and any learning materials they could find and dumping them into a pile. When they finished, he hauled a jerrican from his truck and doused the pile with gasoline.

As he was about to light it, a boy ran forward. "Stop," he pleaded. "We have nowhere else to learn."

Haq eyed the brave child. He was interested not in the boy's words but in the fiberglass cast on his left arm. To the best of Haq'sknowledge, there was only a rudimentary clinic in the village. In his country, broken limbs were set in plaster, not fiberglass. He had seen this advancedmedical treatment only once before. "Where did you get this?" he asked, touching the cast.

"The healer," said the boy.

Haq's ears perked up. He hadn't heard about a healer in these parts. "Who is this healer?"

The boy looked away.

Haq grabbed the child's jaw in his immense hand, the sharpened nails raising welts on his cheek. "Who?"

"A crusader," someone shouted.

Haq spun. "A crusader? Here? Alone?"

"He's traveling with an assistant. A Hazara who carries medicine for him in a bag."

"Is the healer American?" asked Haq.

"A Westerner," came an answer. "He speaks English and some Pashto. We didn't ask if he was American. He cured many people. He fixed the khan's stomach and repaired my cousin's knee."

Haq released the boy, shoving him backward. His heart was racing, but he hid his anticipation beneath a veil of anger. "Where did he go?"

An elder pointed toward the mountains. "There."

Haq looked at the foothills that rose and eventually formed the massive mountain range known as the Hindu Kush. Tossing the lighter onto the pile of books, he walked back to his truck, paying scant attention as the flames climbed into the sky.

"Go," he said to the driver. "To the mountains."


Jonathan Ransom woke and knew that something was wrong.

Bolting upright, he pulled his sleeping bag to his waist and listened. Across the room, Hamid, his assistant, slept on the ground, snoring. Beyond the shuttered windows, a camel brayed. Outside, a pushcart rolled past, its arthritic axles in need of oil, followed by a trio of voices raised in conversation. The cart, he had learned during his week in the village of Khos-al-Fari, belonged to the butcher, who was presently transporting his daily supply of freshly slaughtered goats to the town bazaar to be displayed hanging from tenterhooks in the front of his stall.

The cart continued down the hill. The voices died away. All was silent but for the ghostly roar of the Gar River churning through the nearby gorge.

Jonathan remained stock-still, the frigid air stinging his cheeks.

It was only mid-November, yet in the steep, inhospitable foothills of eastern Afghanistan, winter had arrived with a vengeance.

A minute passed. Still he heard nothing.

And then the crack of a rifle. A single shot-high-caliber, judging by its report. He waited, expecting more gunfire, but none came, and he wondered if a hunter had taken one of the big-horned Marco Polo sheep that roamed the mountainside.

It was almost five a.m. Time to begin the day. With a grunt, he unzipped the sleeping bag to his feet and stood on the dirt floor. Shivering, he lit the kerosene lamp, then hurried to pull on a second pair of woolen socks and a beat-up pair of flannel-lined cargo pants.

A camp table in one corner held a washbasin, a jug of water, a cup with his toothbrush and toothpaste, and a washcloth. Jonathan poured water into the basin. The water had partially frozen overnight, and islands of ice floated on the surface. He washed his hands and face, then ran the washcloth over his body, scrubbing vigorously to stop his teeth from chattering. Finished, he dried himself, brushed his teeth, and put on his shirt and jacket. His hair was too long and tangled to tame with a brush, so he combed it with his fingers for a few moments before giving up on it.

"Hamid," he said. "Wake up."

To combat the cold, Hamid had disappeared inside his sleeping bag. Jonathan crossed the room and kicked him. "Move it."

A head of unruly black hair popped out of the sleeping bag. Hamid peered angrily around the room. In the dim light, the circles under his eyes gained depth and he looked older than his nineteen years. "That hurt."

"Get your butt out of the sack. We've got a lot to do today."

"Just a sec-"


Hamid sat up slowly, pulling his cell phone out of the bag and checking it for messages.

Jonathan observed him, wondering for the hundredth time how a village could not have electricity but manage to have cellular phone service. "Your mom call?"

Hamid didn't look up from the phone. "Not funny."

"Yeah, well, put that thing away and get moving. I'll see you at the clinic."

Jonathan picked up the duffel that held his equipment and swung it over his shoulder. Pulling on his pakol hat, he opened the door and sniffed the air. Wood smoke, damp foliage, and peat: the smells of the world away from civilization. It was a scent he knew well.

For eight years he had traveled the world as a physician with Doctors Without Borders. He had worked from the top of Africa to the bottom. He had spent time in Kosovo, Beirut, and Iraq, too. Wherever he was located, his mission was to bring medical care to those who needed it most. Politics was not a factor. There were no good guys or bad guys. There were only patients.

He'd arrived in Afghanistan two months before, but he no longer worked for Doctors Without Borders. Events in the recent past prevented him from working in an official capacity as a physician or surgeon for them or anyone else. The man at the American embassy had told him he was crazy to venture into the Red Zone-the Red Zone being anywhere outside Kabul. When Jonathan said he was traveling alone, without bodyguards or weapons or any personal security whatsoever, so that he might offer medical care to people in the remotest villages, the man called him "suicidal." Jonathan didn't think so. He had calculated the risks, weighed them against his responsibilities, and found the balance equal, more or less.

Now, standing outside his one-room shelter in the predawn darkness, his boots sinking into the icy muck, he listened again. It wasn't noise that unsettled him, but the lack of it.

"One hour," he said to Hamid, then shut the door.

A soft rain fell as he walked along the path zigzagging down the hillside. Below, shrouded in clouds on a spit of flat terrain tucked between steeply descending mountains, lay the village. All the structures looked the same: low-slung, rectangular slurries of rock, timber, and mud that seemed to have grown out of the earth itself. A thousand people lived in Khos-al-Fari. Many times that number visited from the surrounding valley to trade at the bazaar, sell crops and timber, and conduct a rudimentary social life.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Interviews & Essays

Rules Teaser

It all starts with an idea. And the idea for the Rules series, (Rules of Deception, Rules of Vengeance, and this summer, Rules of Betrayal) came from General Tommy Franks. Yes, that Tommy Franks, the brilliant and charismatic military commander who led American and Coalition Forces to victory in Afghanistan and Iraq. A few years back I wrote a television pilot called "The Diplomat," and it turned out that the show's producers had a colleague who was interested in consulting on the show. Enter General Franks.

During the course of our discussions, General Franks repeatedly referred to a class of soldiers he called his "operators." These operators came from different branches of the service - Rangers, Green Berets, SEALs - and were tasked with missions that could only be termed "impossible." We're talking behind enemy lines, no back up, completely on your own for extended periods of time. Beyond secret. Missions that never took place on or off the record. Even when they were in the States, these operators were not allowed to talk about who they worked for or what they did. These individuals were the best of the best. Fit, tough, calm under pressure, and very, very smart. The more General Franks talked about them, the more I wanted to write about someone who fit this demanding profile. And not for the television show, but for a novel!

Immediately, the creative side of my mind went into overtime. I asked myself what if it weren't a man who did this for a living, but a woman. And what if you were married to her? Would you know what she did for a living? How in the world would it be possible for her to keep her profession a secret? It would be pretty difficult to keep things under wraps unless she was married to the right type of man. A man whose own work took him to the world's political hot spots. A man comfortable living under trying circumstances in far away places. A man who felt at ease when his own life was in jeopardy. In short, a man that was almost her equal.

He'd be a doctor and he'd work for Doctors Without Borders.

The idea was growing very quickly now. Not one novel, but a series…

And so Jonathan and Emma Ransom were born. He's a doc, she's a spy, or as General Franks would say, "an operator." Sure they're fictional characters, but I'm pretty convinced that somewhere out there in this big, bad world, there are a man and woman just like them.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 106 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 106 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    superb espionage thriller

    In Zabul Province, Afghanistan Dr. Jonathan Ransom of Doctors Without Borders is providing medical care to the locals when a Taliban assault occurs. He is air lifted out of the deadly firefight.

    However, Jonathan learns from his assistant Hamid who secretly works for the American top secret agency Division that his wife Emma also known in some circles as Lara Antonova, who may be one of their operatives, is in trouble. He knows how capable a killer his Emma is so Jonathan has problems accepting the assertion, but refuses to ignore the possibility. Apparently Emma has done something to anger a Taliban brutal operative The "Hawk" and thwart fuming arms dealer Lord Balfour. The Division fears Emma has gone rogue somewhere in the mountainous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact she has found a B-52 that crashed in 1980 carrying a nuclear bomb that she has taken with her. Everyone from the infamous Indian war dealer to the deadly Taliban terrorist to the Division and even the Russians' FSB head to Lashkar Province seek to take the bomb from Emma-Lara; except Jonathan who seeks to extract his wife from being in the eye of the storm.

    The third Ransom Rules (see Rules of Vengeance and Rules of Deception) is a superb espionage thriller as Jonathan who wants nothing to do with Division or spying is back in the field worried about his mysterious spouse. Readers learn much more about enigmatic Emma's background as she operates with rules in which trust and rely on no one as they will betray you. Jonathan is pulled between saving his wife and securing the bomb, which leaves readers anxiously awaiting the fate of the nuke in his next thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Pay The Ransom- Free Reich!

    Christopher Reich used to write great novels about corporate crime-books like the Devil's Banker. There were five of them, and I remember how I looked forward to the next one immediately after I finished the last. That Christopher Reich has disappeared, no doubt being held hostage by some Wall Street types who don't want him writing those kinds of novels anymore. The fake Reich has started terrorist novels involving Jonathan Ransom and his wife, Emma. These novels are nowhere near as good as his earlier novels. The latest, Rules of Betrayal, has many of the same ingredients that you see in other novels of the genre- bad guys being pursued by a civilian who can accomplish so much more that any crack government team can. There is usually a bomb, nuclear, of course, that's headed to a major city and gosh, just this one guy can stop it. Will he? In the nick of time? Well, of course I can't spoil any endings, but when the book becomes a series it's not too hard to guess who survives. In Betrayal, Reich, or his impostor, reaches levels of absurdity that only a crazed mind can write. (Thus providing further proof that the real Christopher Reich did not write this novel.) So, I'd like to see some other fiction writer find him, and fast! Wall Street is rife for exploitation!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2010

    Pick Something Else

    This book seems cobbled together from other movies and similar books. Critical events develop just too conveniently to be plausable. Main characters display authority that you just know that mid level players would not have. This is not one of his better books.

    Mark Auman

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2012


    Nice easy read..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012


    As I read other reviews of this book here, I am convinced that they are written by the author himself. This is a work that reads like a notebook of ideas, all disconnected and hurriedly noted. The characters are as solid as Ritz crackers. The plot is believable, kimd of, sort of... maybe.

    Save your money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    Enjoyable story

    This is not a "true" tale, so just enjoy it for the advrnture it is.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer


    Book 3, in the Jonathan Ransom series

    In 'Rules of Betrayal', Jonathan is called to action by the same U.S. military team that trained his wife Emma to be a deadly operative in the espionage game. This time, however, Jonathan has a very short time to learn the ropes and rules of survival before he is placed in a precarious, life-threatening situation.

    The story opens with Jonathan in Afghanistan continuing his work on his own without the assistance of Doctors without borders. When his assistant betrays him and all hell breaks loose Jonathan finally gets the occasion to meet Connor, Emma's former boss, who plays an important part in the eventual rescue by an American covert team.

    We also learn Emma was recently unmasked as a double agent during an arms negotiation that went terribly wrong. Jonathan has problems accepting this theory but the mounting facts haunt him. The Division fears Emma has gone rogue somewhere in the mountainous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan and is helping a wealthy arms dealer locate and retrieve a long-lost U.S nuclear warhead missing in remote snow covered mountains. With this revelation, Connor has no trouble enticing Jonathan to work with them on their next operation...

    A Mossad agent named Danni will be his primary trainer and show him the latest techniques in the art of foreign espionage. The idea is to have Jonathan replace a Swiss plastic surgeon who is known in the underworld to alter the appearance of terrorists. The word on the street is a rich terrorist operative connected to the warhead wants to alter his appearance and it is felt Jonathan can gain valuable intelligence from him.

    This novel of international espionage is suspenseful from start to finish, a thriller that kept me on the edge and rapidly turning pages. The story has the necessary elements to make it interesting: plenty of action, wonderful players, an exotic local and an exciting storyline made to measure for our hero, Jonathan. The author has created Jonathan as a unique character always willing and able but somewhat manipulated by both his wife and government officials. On the other hand, Emma is portrayed as a fearless super woman...

    Mr. Reichs crisp dialogue, simple prose and short chapters make reading his books a pleasure.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2010


    RULES OF BETRAYAL by Christopher Reich is a suspense/thriller set in modern day Afghanistan and USA. It is the third in the Jonathan Ransom series but can easily be read as a stand alone. It is well written with depth, details, twists and turns. It has suspense, international espionage, adventure, betrayal, complex, high tech terrorist plot and suprising climax. The characters are complex, intelligent, strong, devoted, one is an assasin, the other a Doctor. The secondary characters are just as complex and interesting.The hero, Jonathan, is a Doctor for Doctors Without Borders, he is trying to make amends for things he had done in his past. Emma, is Jonathan's wife, a spy, an assasin who used her husband's job to help accomplish her goals. Jonathan is thrusted into trying to locate a weapon of mass destruction,after Emma is kidnapped and betrayed. If you enjoy espionage, suspense, thrillers, edge of your seat reading this is a book for you. This book was received for review and details can be found at Doubleday and My Book Addiction and More.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    Good Read...

    Christopher Reich is a very good mystery, suspense writer. This is an excellent series of books. They are very well written and keep you guessing. You should probably read all three books in the series for the full effect. All of his others are good as well.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2010

    Too Far Fetched

    This was a disappointment compared to the first book. Suddenly the "innocent" doctor is behaving like a seasoned assassin and covert agent? I don't think so. I could not find a single insight into the inner life of the lead characters that made me care about any of them. All the characters are superficially sketched as one dimensional stereotypes that simply don't ring true. I read the whole book trying to get a clue about what makes any of them tick and still came up wanting. Still, the storyline does move right along and takes us to a variety of European locales so not a total loss. Not holding my breath for the next one though and will wait for it to hit the bargain shelf.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An outstanding espionage thriller!

    Rules of Betrayal had me wondering how much of this was based on what really went on. There were plenty of elaborate and seemingly crazy spy moments, but somehow the amount of detail and the strange twists seemed like they must have been based on careful research.

    The book reads as though it could easily be transformed into a high octane movie -- the sort that I'd try to catch on opening weekend. As the skilled surgeon Jonathan Ransom is trying to atone for the violence during his marriage to secret agent Emma Ransom, he finds that much of his old life has followed him into his new one. And a well crafted plea for help leads Ransom to attempt what would have been nearly impossible for a professional.

    Ransom turns out to be a natural -- the skills and training that made him a world class surgeon carry over to his undercover work. Ransom must penetrate the defenses of an international arms dealer and a powerful terrorist with very limitless resources. Training, luck and some unexpected allies turn Ransom into a formidable opponent - and make Rules of Betrayal a fast-paced and memorable thriller!

    ISBN-10: 0385531540 - Hardcover
    Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (July 13, 2010), 384 pages.
    Review copy provided by the publisher.

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    As has been said some guys have all the luck - it was just a few years ago that stage, screen, and television actor Paul Michael was asked to narrate a book - the title? The Da Vinci Code. No one could have guessed that that title would remain on the bestseller list for over two years and Michael's narrative would be heard by countless numbers throughout the world Needless to say this actor has had very little free time since then.

    While Michael has been seen in a number of British sitcoms, his deep voice and clear, concise diction are appreciated by multitudes of audiobooks fans who have heard his narrations of such titles as Digital Fortress, The Tristan Betrayal, Rules Of Vengeance, Alibi, Icebound, and numerous others. He brings not only skill and perception but also added excitement to his presentation of RULES OF BETRAYAL.

    The third in Reich's thriller series bringing us Dr. Jonathan Ransom finds the good surgeon in a Taliban controlled section of Afghanistan where he narrowly escapes death. That might have been preferable to what he now faces. Emma Ransom (obviously, the woman he married) is in reality Lara Antonova, an assassin and a spy. She is now missing, probably captured by Lord Balfour, an arms dealer. Ransom is charged by Frank Connor, who runs Division, a secret U.S. Government agency, to bring Emma out. Of course, Division isn't the only entity that has an interest in Emma - the FSB in Russia also wants her. More than adding to the threats surrounding Ransom is The Hawk, an evil terrorist in Afghanistan who is close to being in control of a weapon of mass destruction.

    RULES OF BETRAYAL is not only a spellbinding stand alone thriller but the ending leaves just enough hanging in the balance for us to eagerly await the next installment from Christopher Reich.

    - Gail Cooke

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