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)
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."
"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."
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.”
“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.”
"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."
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.
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.