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.”
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
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.
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)