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Review: ‘The Risk Agent’ crackles with suspense

SHARE Review: ‘The Risk Agent’ crackles with suspense
This book cover image released by Putman shows "The Risk Agent," by Ridley Pearson.

This book cover image released by Putman shows “The Risk Agent,” by Ridley Pearson.

Putman, Associated Press

"The Risk Agent" (Putnam), by Ridley Pearson

A kidnapping on the streets of Shanghai propels two people into a conspiracy in "The Risk Agent," Ridley Pearson's latest thriller.

A man named Lu Hao witnesses a crime committed by someone high up in the Chinese government. Before he can alert the authorities, he's grabbed on a public street. The Americans were watching Hao, and the man tailing him is also kidnapped. The ransom demand soon arrives and the clock begins ticking.

An extraction firm that operates under the radar in China takes the assignment to rescue the hostages. Grace Chu can trace money transactions better than an accounting expert, and John Knox is an American with skills in combat and infiltration. Chu and Knox are paired, and they are soon thrust into a paranoid world where everything they do is monitored by the government.

Can they achieve the impossible before the deadline?

Pearson, who lived with his family in Shanghai for a year, has created an intense and realistic thriller. The atmosphere and culture of China draws readers into a new world.

Pearson writes in both the adult thriller and children's fantasy realm, both solo and with humorist Dave Barry. With "The Risk Agent," he has a great start to what appears to be a new series.