Book Review: The Risk Agent by Ridley Pearson

The Risk Agent
Ridley Pearson
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, June 2012
ISBN 9780399158834

A starship captain once said, “Risk is our business” in reference to why his organization explored space. For the Rutherford Risk company, it’s why they venture into China illegally. In Ridley Pearson‘s newest novel, an American souvenir hunter and a Chinese forensic accountant are trying to rescue kidnapped construction employees, but run into more trouble than expected.

John Knox and Grace Chu are hired by the Rutherford Risk company to track down Lu Hao and Clete Danner who were kidnapped by unknown forces. Knox and Chu quickly realize that Hao’s financial reports are key to everything: why the kidnapping occurred, who orchestrated it, and possibly the solution to saving them. However, Knox and Chu aren’t the only ones interested in Hao and his important numbers. Chinese State Police, a group of Mongolians, and a rival construction CEO are all involved. Knox and Chu constantly stay on the run, wanted by the police, and find more trouble when another agent of Rutherford Risk is hospitalized. The secret they are after is deeper than anyone realized.

This story takes place in Shanghai and Pearson does an excellent job of showing the Chinese culture both good and bad. This is a complicated story with a lot of connections and mysteries to be solved. The energy and action amp up the closer it comes to the date of the ransom payment and then…takes off in the aftermath. Get in on the ground floor of a brand new series from one of the best thriller writers in the business.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, July 2012.
Author of Night Shadows and Beta.