The Risk Agent (Risk Agent Series #1) by Ridley Pearson | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Risk Agent (Risk Agent Series #1)

The Risk Agent (Risk Agent Series #1)

3.7 48
by Ridley Pearson
     
 

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 A Chinese National working for an American-owned construction company is grabbed off the streets of Shanghai in broad daylight.  His one-man security detail goes missing as well.  
Rutherford Risk is a firm specializing in extraction: the negotiation for, and the recovery of hostages. Private investigation is illegal in today's China.

Overview

 A Chinese National working for an American-owned construction company is grabbed off the streets of Shanghai in broad daylight.  His one-man security detail goes missing as well.  
Rutherford Risk is a firm specializing in extraction: the negotiation for, and the recovery of hostages. Private investigation is illegal in today's China. Operating within her borders will be difficult at best.

The security company recruits two unique outsiders to do their bidding. Grace Chu is a forensic accountant hired to follow the money; John Knox is a civilian with unparalleled training in both combat and culture. Grace’s top-notch American education and Chinese military service make her an unassuming, but effective, operative, while Knox’s take-no-prisoners attitude brings them perilously close to harm. Following the money leads to more complex – and dangerous – consequences than either anticipated. Who is actually behind the kidnapping? And more important, can Knox and Grace locate the two hostages ahead of the deadline?

Rich with the atmosphere of Shanghai and crackling with tension-filled suspense, Pearson's latest introduces two compelling new characters—and heralds in the start of a brilliant new series.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Pearson (In Harm’s Way) introduces John Knox, an importer and highly trained security agent based in Shanghai, in this entertaining first in a new action series. Rutherford Risk, a security contracting firm working for the Berthold Group, a construction industry giant, hires Knox to rescue two employees who have been kidnapped. Knox takes the job because he needs the money to support his epileptic, learning-disabled brother, Tommy, and because one of the employees, Clete Danner, is an old pal. He teams with Chinese national Grace Chu, a forensic accountant and former Chinese army intelligence agent, who’s a friend of the other missing man, Lu Hao. As Pearson makes abundantly clear, China is a land of great mystery, so the motives of everyone concerned, including other operatives who are searching for Danner and Lu, are tangled into interlocking webs of deceit and crime on both national and international levels. Thriller fans will look forward to seeing more of Knox. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (June)
From the Publisher
"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)

"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

"Bestseller Pearson introduces John Knox, a importer and highly trained security agent based in Shanghai, in this entertaining first in a new action series. …Thriller fans will look forward to seeing more of Knox."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --Publishers Weekly

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

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --Kirkus Reviews

"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

"Ridley Pearson has a neat trick: He writes novels with one foot firmly planted in the adult suspense-thriller genre, the other in young-reader adventure. His worldwide sales and literary awards show it's working. It's the Bee Book Club's choice for June."-

- - - ---Sacramento Bee

"Brace yourself for a thrilling afternoon: Pearson's introducing a new action series that stars a Shanghai-based security agent named John Knox. Spoiler alert: Knox does not spend his nights nodding off in front of a black-and-white security screen."

- - - --Chicago Tribune

The Boston Sunday Globe

 “Ridley Pearson writes thrillers, the kind that try to yank you to the edge of your seat and keep you there.”

Library Journal
Rich with the atmosphere of Shanghai, where best-selling author Pearson (In Harms Way) lived with his family during 2008–09, and filled with breathtaking suspense, this international thriller series opener begins with the disappearance of Lu Hao—along with his financial records of bribes he'd been paying out for a U.S. construction company operating in Shanghai. The woman who helped him get the job, Grace Chu, who was educated in America and also has military training, currently contracts out as a forensic accountant for an international security firm. Because of her connections and involvement, Grace is given the task of finding Lu and his missing records. John Knox, an import/export entrepreneur with friends in the same security company, is recruited as a Shanghai insider to deliver the ransom and/or extract the hostage. It complicates matters that private investigations are illegal in today's China, so they must work outside the police. VERDICT Famous for his plotting and attention to details, Pearson is off to a great start with his compelling and multilayered new protagonists. His many fans as well as readers who love international thrillers won't be disappointed. Buy multiple copies. [See Prepub Alert, 12/5/11.]—Vicki L. Gregory, Sch. of Information, Univ. of South Florida, Tampa
Kirkus Reviews
If you have the right incentives, dollars in the billions can be made in Shanghai, where capitalism wrestles with communism. So says Pearson (In Harm's Way, 2010, etc.) in this first in a new series of thrillers. Of course, "incentives" means bribery and overpayment. And that means more business for Rutherford Risk, specializing in corporate security. Now Rutherford has only days to free Lu Hao and Clete Danner, an American who had been surveilling Lu for Rutherford. The ransom is meager, but stakes are high. Lu delivered and accounted for incentives paid by The Bethold Group, an American company building Shanghai's Xuan Tower, the world's tallest building. Suspects are plentiful, especially considering entrepreneurs like Yang Cheng were resentful of the American company's success. With private investigation illegal in China, Rutherford reaches out for John Knox, an import/exporter with a long history as a military contractor, and Grace Chu, an American-educated, Chinese army intelligence veteran who's currently a Hong Kong forensic accountant. With subplots involving Grace's muddied love affair with Lu's brother, Knox's need to protect his brother and partner, Tommy, who is autistic, and Danner's shadowy connections, Pearson's narrative grabs readers and rockets through hundreds of pages of nonstop action laced by violence, double-dealing and shady characters. First, there are the Mongolians, exiles working for a chimerical Bejing bigwig. There's Shen Deshi, an inspector for the People's Armed Police, "the Gestapo of China." Most mysterious is mainland China itself, "an anything-goes market economy layered over a police state." Knox knows China, but he's a waiguoren (foreigner), never to be completely familiar with "the complexities of the interwoven social and professional etiquette involving the Chinese." And then there is guanxi (connections), and that untranslatable matter of "face." A cunning thriller worthy of the promised series, especially if the fascinating Grace Chu reappears regularly. Exotic locale. Credible heroics. Vicarious thrills. Fans will want more, and soon.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399158834
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
06/19/2012
Series:
Risk Agent Series, #1
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“If we had a Thriller Hall of Fame, Ridley Pearson would be a first-ballot certainty.”—Lee Child

“Ridley Pearson writes some of the tightest thriller fiction around.”—Scott Turow

“Brace yourself.”—Chicago Tribune

“A cunning thriller.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Rich with the atmosphere of Shanghai and filled with breathtaking suspense.”—Library Journal (starred review)

Meet the Author

Ridley Pearson is the author of more than two dozen novels, including the New York Times-bestsellers 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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The Risk Agent 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
LeeNV More than 1 year ago
I agree with KenCady's review. Too convoluted, and I too was really taken aback by the Chinese corruption portrayed...did not realize China was so awful. Had a rough time keeping the various bad guys separated. I have always liked and have all of Pearson's books, but I doubt if I'll follow this series.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
The Risk Agent is a convoluted story taking place in Shanghai. I had a strong desire to visit Shanghai until I read this. Are the Chinese really so totally corrupted? The book introduces a multitude of players and it is hard to keep track of them. I think it would have been helpful if the author used a flow chart to keep the reader more in tune with the action. As it is, we bounce from one fight to the next, never quite sure if this is the Mongolian bad guy, the Yang bad guy, or one of their employer's deceitful tactics. The Shen character is a hard one to accept. I did like Grace, and a sequel with her and John Knox where the action was a little clearer could be fun.
Twink More than 1 year ago
For this reader, Ridley Pearson is an author whose books I pick up without even glancing at the flyleaf. I enjoy his writing and just know I'm in for a good read. The Risk Agent is Pearson's latest release. The American firm of Rutherford Risk specializes in 'extraction' - the recovery of kidnap victions and hostages. Chinese national Lu Hao is kidnapped, as is Cletus Danner - the American who was keeping an eye on Lu Hao. This operation is going to require some finesse.......and some unique operatives. Civilian John Knox is approached - he has an intimate knowledge of the country and the language. And he has specialized military training as well. His counterpart? Grace Chu. On the surface she is simply a forensic accountant, hired to follow the money. But she too has military training. I found the background behind the Risk Agent interesting. Ridley Pearson spent a year in Shanghai with his family while teaching at a local university. This year's residence added much detail to The Risk Agent. The customs, culture, language and descriptions of the land and it's people were richly described and definitely added to the overall tone of the book. My favourite series of Pearson's have been the Lou Boldt novels. With The Risk Agent, Ridley takes us in a new direction - espionage instead of suspense. I felt a little lost in the beginning as there are many, many characters introduced very quickly. The book hits the ground running from the first chapter and never lets up. There are layers upon layers in the plot, with everyone having their own agenda hidden below the primary objective. You'll want to be on your toes to keep track of all the machinations going on. But the real draw are these new characters. Pearson has wisely created both a strong male and female protagonist, appealing to all readers. I enjoyed both characters, but was more drawn to John. I think his personal back story engaged me more. The Risk Agent is the first offering in a new series. I'll be looking forward to the next novel featuring this pair. Now that the stage has been set, I think there's lots of action ahead for this intrepid duo. Fans of the Ludlum novels and those of Vince Flynn would enjoy this new series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chu and Knox make a good team; amusing interpersonal relationship, exciting most of the time. I'm anticipating more adventures with them.
IYamVixenBooks More than 1 year ago
I meandered away from Ridley Pearson a few years ago. He has me back with this super thriller. It looks to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship if this is a start of a new series. Grace Chu and John Knox are more than a mere forensic accountant (Chu) and a wandering procurer of folk art and treasures (Knox). Thrown together to make up a team to rescue two kidnap victims in China where nothing is as it seems, including the two main characters. Intrigue and action abound throughout, leaving the reader thoroughly exhausted, but definitely satisfied.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ridley Pearson has done is again! He is truly amazing. The book takes you on whipping turns and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Honestly, he has done it again! Ridley Pearson, please keep releasing books because we're all wanting to come back for more. Bravo.
AMA001 More than 1 year ago
I thought the book was pretty good. Kept me interested, but all the corruption in China was a bit much. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed getting to know the characters. Look forward to more books with these characters.
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MontanaQuilter More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the writing and the suspense. The main character was believable, and the descriptions were good. A great mystery
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't like it. Didn't finish it.
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Patarma6 More than 1 year ago
The story it totally plausible and while the "China" that is emerging in the 21st century is ready, willing, and capable of absorbing "western" technology for its own uses, China is still the China of ages ago. The story is fast paced and the protagonists are all too human.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always exciting, another cannot-put-it-down book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cooknbooks More than 1 year ago
The story involved many level of business dealing in China with many parties with different agendas; difficult to keep track in the beginning. Mr. Pearson had depicted the real situation in China with some effort but all he revealed is only the tip of the iceberg. To answer fellow reader KenCady's question, "are the Chinese really so totally corrupted?" The answer is yes and, in fact, it is much worse in real life. This is from personal experience in doing business in China. It is okay to visit Shanghai as a tourist; but making a living there is a different story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago