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. Read an excerpt of The Risk Agent.