The Risk Agent (Risk Agent Series #1)

The Risk Agent (Risk Agent Series #1)

by Ridley Pearson


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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

About 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.


St. Louis, Missouri

Date of Birth:

March 13, 1953

Place of Birth:

Glen Cove, New York


Kansas University, B.A., Brown University

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)

Customer Reviews

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The Risk Agent 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 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.
aztwinmom on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I received this book as an Early Review copy. It took me a little while to get into the story but then it drew me in. The setting in China was another character in the story and added to the intrigue. This was an enjoyable read and a true thriller.
tottman on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Risk Agent, by Ridley Pearson is a very interesting thriller/espionage story. It pairs a male American ex-military (or as good as) with a female Chinese accountant (and ex-military officer) to track down two kidnap victims and important financial information belonging to an American company operating in China.The chinese setting and cultural differences make for an interesting backdrop. The story is layered like an onion with each layer pulled back only to reveal another mystery. The protagonists are developed nicely and easy to root for. They function well as a team in spite of, or perhaps because of, their cultural differences. There are a number of less developed secondary characters whose motives are harder to fathom, but they keep the story spinning in unpredictable directions.There are a number of good action sequences but this book is more espionage and suspense than high octane thriller. Pearson does a good job of keeping you engaged and thinking, trying to unravel the mystery as clues are uncovered. Motives are complicated and trust hard to earn. The story concludes nicely, wrapping up all the major storylines while still leaving an opening to continue following these characters in future novels. This is a well-written and interesting book, but not a pulse-pounding one. The action moves forward steadily, but never really builds to a crescendo. If your taste in thrillers runs more to the espionage side than the action side, you will likely enjoy this book.I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book.
jastbrown on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Ridley Pearson is a fine author. I've always enjoyed the stories in his Lou Boldt series. The new series, with it's debut in Shanghai, doesn't do as much for me.. but that probably has a lot to do with personal preference. The Risk Agent is well written, with a plot line that moves rapidly. I didn't ever find myself warming up to either of his two protagonists, however. John, the ex-special forces 'agent' recruited to recover a kidnapping victim in Shanghai has very few human emotions to draw a reader to him except for unusually strong ties to a brother, who may be autistic. Grace, his reluctant sidekick, spends most of her time being inscrutable, or is it just that she's dense? Only time will tell!I enjoyed the book.. I would buy the next in the series, hoping for an improvement to the attractiveness of John and Grace. If there is none, I would probably go back and see if I haven't overlooked a book or two in his Boldt/Matthews series!
readafew on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is the 2nd Ridley Pearson book I've read and I liked this one a lot more than the last. It takes place in China, in Shanghai. I think part of the appeal for Pearson was to display what he'd learned about China while living over there for a year. The book was fairly exciting, and I enjoyed reading it. I'd put this in line with James Patterson's Alex Cross books, enough story but don't dig too deep or you'll scratch the painted scenery.A man is kidnapped, and an American who'd been following to close was taken too. A ransom was demanded of the company employing the man, but reporting the kidnapping to the Chinese authorities would be worse than paying the ransom, since the man gone missing was the companies bag man. He paid the bribes to keep the companies projects running smoothly. To top things off the companies chief rival has got wind of the trouble brewing and is trying hard to make the most of it.As I said I enjoyed the book and if he adds any more to this making it a series I will certainly give it a try as well. He writes well and I think he captured the feel of China from a foreigners perspective fairly well.
mcasassa on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I found the Risk Agent to be a suspenseful thrill ride, full of twists and turns. Of particular interest is the details by Mr. Pearson on life in China. I was quickly drawn into the life of Grace Chu, and John Knox, and am looking forward to meeting them again. I found Mr. Pearson's book to be a fine read, the characters almost step from the pages and into one's reading room.
Tommie1 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I ilke thd 'other' Ridley Pearson. Way too much going on with names hardto pronounce
maneekuhi on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I was attracted to The Risk Agent for three reasons - I liked the plot summaries I had read, I have read other books by Ridley Pearson and enjoyed them, and I visited Shanghai briefly, was fascinated by it, and wanted to learn more. Basically, the plot involves obtaining the safe release of two kidnap victims. One of the victims is employed by a US construction firm in Shanghai and he is responsible for paying "incentives" to key individuals to ensure the timely completion of a skyscraper project. The US firm engages a Hong Kong company to find the victims before the seven day ransom deadline since Chinese kidnap victims don't often survive the experience. Enter Knox, ex US military, and Grace, a Chinese forensic accountant. And a horde of other characters. I had some difficulty keeping the cast straight in my head - nevermind what their agendas were, or at least seemed to be.Things happen and their significance to the objective is not immediately clear, sometimes even to our heroes. But very slowly, events, motivations, and objectives become clear, and the story comes to a satisfactory conclusion.I liked the setting and hope that future books will also be set in Shanghai - Pearson spent a year there teaching recently, and it showed - the atmosphere felt real, not web-researched. Knox is not a super hero, he takes his lumps, and he's not out to save the world from the Evil Empire. But his character isn't that well developed either - not that I would expect it to be in a thriller like this, but he is a bit cardboard, as is Grace, as is their relationship. There were some terrific chapters, one in particular dealing with a typhoon striking Shanghai on National Day as thousands are pushing and screaming to board limited ferries. Well done!The litmus test for me in a book like this, rumored to be the first in a series, is will I read the next one(?) Maybe. Probably yes if set in Shanghai again, and definitely yes if the plot grabs me. I thought this was between 3 1/2 and 4 stars, and I rounded up.
murphy430 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I have to say I like Pearson's other series better. But will try the next one out to see if I like that one more. This is set in China with their culture and restrictions, that might be why I found it difficult to read. Not being really familiar with that world might have bogged the story down for me. I'd certainly give the book a try if you are a fan. It has a good storyline and moves along.
Jarratt on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I got a little over 100 pages before I decided to stop reading "The Risk Agent." In the story, two characters (who we get to know little about) are kidnapped and held for ransom in Shanghai. A security company hires two people, one an American and another a Chinese national, to find them. Because we learn little of the kidnapped characters (and don't know what's going on with them beyond what happens in the opening pages), I found myself not really caring if they were found or not. And those looking for them didn't interest me enough to hope they were successful.
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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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