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The Risk Agent (Risk Agent #1)

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  1,096 Ratings  ·  209 Reviews
 A Chinese National working for an American-owned construction company is grabbed off the streets of Shanghai in broad daylight.  His one-man security detail goes missing as well.  
Rutherford Risk is a firm specializing in extraction: the negotiation for, and the recovery of hostages. Private investigation is illegal in today's China. Operating within her borders will be d
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 16, 2012 Harmien rated it it was ok
I found the book confusing, full of clichées, too much zipping back and forth in and around the city on scooters, motorbikes and in taxis without really getting anywhere.
A slight-figured female is taking on menacing Mongolians around every street corner to protect a white foreigner, whilst risk managing is being attended to in stereotypical dens, brothels and backrooms with everybody who is not Chinese, called an 'expat'.
A disappointing product from Mr. Pearson.
After him having spent a year the
Amy Lignor
May 29, 2012 Amy Lignor rated it really liked it
The first in a stunning new international thriller series; suspense readers can get ready for a truly non-stop tale of intrigue.

The Rutherford Risk firm’s main objectives are finding and negotiating deals for the return of kidnapping victims that are being held as hostages. The latest job they’re hired for is to find a Chinese gentleman, Edward “Lu” Hao, along with his security man, who are working for an American multinational called, The Berthold Group.

This kidnapping happened in China, where
Cathy Cole
May 17, 2012 Cathy Cole rated it liked it
First Line: Lu Hao, a slim, well-dressed man in his twenties stood on the roof of a subcompact car the size of a toaster, peering over a ten-foot-high concrete-block wall and into the parking lot outside an aging tannery.

When a Chinese National working for an American company and his security detail are kidnapped on the streets of Shanghai, Rutherford Risk is called in to handle the recovery of the hostages. Private investigation is illegal in China, so handling this matter will be a very delica
Zohar -
Jun 11, 2012 Zohar - rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
The Risk Agent by Ridley Pearson is a fictional mystery/thriller taking place in China. The book is the first of a new series.

The Rutherford Risk firm has a problem. They are trying to negotiate for a hostage which was taken in Shanghai, but are not allowed, by law, to investigate. The firm recruits two outsiders to bypass the Chinese laws, a dangerous game even when playing by the rules.

American Jon Knox, a civilian with military training, and Grace Chu, an accountant with military training, ar
May 15, 2012 Tad rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, first-reads
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 protagonist
Apr 29, 2012 Kelley rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This novel is the beginning of a new series for Ridley Pearson and I think it will be a hit! Because this story was set in China and had many characters, the reader must be totally focused on the book. It could be confusing in parts and I found myself doing some re-reading. The story opens with the kidnapping of a Chinese employee of a huge American corporation. Because Americans are forbidden from investigating any crimes in China, the company engages the services of a "private" firm. With much ...more
Randy Schultz
Jan 17, 2013 Randy Schultz rated it it was ok
I have long been a fan of Ridley Pearson. I have loved his consistent serious approach to crime fiction and I have until now been of the sort that buys his new books with nary a thought to what's inside. That ends with The Risk Agent. Pearson himself has become a Risk. This was pedestrian at best, far beneath his usual work and I suspect that old Ridley was just trying to use up all the wonderful material he'd accrued from his time in China. I'm glad that a small portion of the money I've given ...more
Aug 19, 2012 Isabelle rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I received this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.

While I have enjoyed several of Ridley Pearsons books featuring Lou Boldt, I found this book difficult to get into. I never really cared about the main characters - John Knox an American mercenary type person and Grace Chu - a Chinese ex-military forensic accountant. I also had a lot of trouble keeping all the secondary characters straight and frequently got confused about who was who. I did really enjoy the Chinese setting for the
Richard G
Jun 13, 2012 Richard G rated it it was ok
Recommended to Richard by: Arlene S
Shelves: fiction
i am battling with i liked it, which sounds too strong and it was ok which sounds weak so i am going to give it 2 stars for the goodreads rating 2.5 stars for those who read these lines. it was a fun story and i was able to turn the pages without too much difficulty but it was a book of this ilk without any holy moleys to be said for it. for me, i need the holy moleys from these suspense mystery action who's the guy behind the guy behind the twist behind the gal behind the guy behind the origina ...more
Apr 02, 2013 Patti rated it it was ok
Ridley Pearson is such a fine author, so I was excited to read the first book with new protagonists Grace Chu and John Knox. I feel like the base premise of this plot could have been good, unfortunately it turned out to have too many confusing and unnecessary characters, our "detectives" had a lot of conclusion-jumping going on to connect the plot points and you can't really go to that well too many times in a good suspense/mystery novel . I will be reading the next one in the series in June; I ...more
Dec 24, 2016 Dlora rated it it was ok
I thoroughly enjoyed Pearson's series about Sun Valley, Idaho, Sheriff Walt Fleming so I was looking forward to this series starring John Knox and Grace Chu. The Risk Agent is a fast moving adventure in China, with our main characters hired by Rutherford Risk to try to foil a hostage situation of a Chinese national and an American security PI. Not so easy to do when private investigation is illegal in China. However, I was very turned off by the Chinese social environment of graft and corruption ...more
Anita Drake
Jan 29, 2017 Anita Drake rated it liked it
Pretty good book, lots of action, but the structure of the book and the writing style was very choppy.
Ingrid Spera
Jan 06, 2017 Ingrid Spera rated it really liked it
Shelves: getlost2017
An action packed ride through Shanghai. Action packed from start to finish with plenty of corporate espionage made interesting!
Lois Blanco
John Knox in Shanghai with Grace Chu trying to extract Americans and investigate corruption.
Jim Graczyk
Nov 16, 2016 Jim Graczyk rated it liked it
Just an ok book as far as I am concerned.
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
Jul 08, 2012 Kristin (MyBookishWays Reviews) rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
You may also read my review here:

Ridley Pearson was given the chance to spend a year in Shanghai with his family, and his experience with, and appreciation for, China and its people is evident in The Risk Agent, the first book in a new series. When a Chinese citizen, Lu Hao, is kidnapped, along with his American security detail, Clete Danner, John Knox is called in to help by Rutherford Risk. At first, he’s dubious and hesitant to take the job, but has a
Luanne Ollivier
Jul 02, 2012 Luanne Ollivier rated it really liked it
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 oper
Steve Greenleaf
Several years ago at the Iowa City Book Festival, I heard Ridley Pearson speak in the Old Capital. Like many a writer, he started off in another calling, but he couldn’t resist attempting a book. He eventually received recognition (sales), and he's made a career of it. He related that, among other things, he participated in a rock bank (“The Rock Bottom Remainders”) with Stephen King, Amy Tan, and Dave Barry (along with others). But mostly Pearson talked about writing and his book, The Risk Agen ...more
Jun 27, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, arc
John Knox and Grace Chu are paired up in China to find Chu's relative that has been kidnapped and Knox's friend has been kidnapped as well. Chu is looking into the financial aspect of the kidnapping and Knox is the brawn. The pair of them have to sort through a tangle of information and keep themselves safe. And still rescue the two individuals that have been kidnapped.

This book started out a little slow for me but after about a third of the way through, I couldn't put it down. I loved the chara
May 01, 2016 Susan rated it liked it
Having read some of Ridley Pearson's earlier books, I was looking forward to reading The Risk Agent, the first book in a new series about a hostage rescue agency. Grace Chu is their computer forensic specialist. Formidable and alluring, she also speaks Mandarin, a convenient asset since most of the action takes place in Shanghai. John Knox, a scarred agency veteran, arrives in Shanghai to team up with Grace. To a certain extent, they work well together, though there are moments of friction durin ...more
A Chinese man Lu Hao, working for an American construction company, The Berthold Group, in Shanghai disappears off the street along with an American who was shadowing him for the company. It shortly comes to light that they were both kidnapped, and the ransom demand must be paid within 7 days. Rutherford Risk, a hostage negotiating firm with an office in Hong Kong, is retained by Berthold to find out what happened. Because it is illegal for a non-Chinese firm to engage in private investigation i ...more
Jul 26, 2013 Nolan rated it did not like it
This book includes Pearson's fast-paced gripping style, and to that degree,
it has real merit. My problem with it is it just spun and flashed from
scene to scene with such rapidity I felt I was reading a screen play. Maybe
if I read this as a 20-something year old, I'd have had no problem with it;
I might have even enjoyed it. Perhaps I just don't process information with
the same speed I once did. But I'm not sure that would matter in the long

The book takes place in modern communist China-a kind
Aug 24, 2012 Ed rated it liked it
#1 in the Grace Chu & John Knox series. I was torn between 3 and 4 stars, if you are a fan of modern China, add a star. Pearson certainly does a masterful job of plotting and pulling the loose ends together. Two hanging threads that I was preparing to criticize in my review were wrapped up in the last third of the final chapter with a smooth segue to a sequel. My complaints are then restricted to two: one, the homage to Shanghai, which is, however capitalistic, part of the China that I belie ...more
Apr 08, 2015 Patricia rated it liked it
This story was just middle-of-the-road good--good enough for me to like it adequately and finish but not really compelling enough for me to want to read on in the series. When I first started the story, I turned to my husband and recommend the book. However, before I was finished with the story, I went back to him and told him to forget this book; it was not good enough for me to recommend.

While I liked the characters of Grace and Knox, there was a coldness there that kept me at arm's length, ke
Jan 05, 2014 Joyce added it
Shelves: discarded
It gives me no pleasure to write this, because this is an author I have really liked in the past and obviously I was intrigued enough by the scenario to shell out money... but _The Risk Agent_ is an incoherent mess. It's a thriller that never thrills, with characters that fail to come to life and a setting that suffers from whatever is the opposite of "sense of place". Pearson's previous books made great work of a block-by-block knowledge of Seattle; but although he's clearly intrigued by contem ...more
Oct 28, 2013 James rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
While I am familiar with Ridley Pearson's young adult novels, this was his first adult novel that I have read. I picked it because I really liked his young adult plots. While the plot line was engaging and the characters interesting, I did not find the overall story to be as good as his young adult novels. This is the first in a series, so I expect the plots to get better as the relationships mature. This novel is set in Shanghai. A Chinese National working for an American-owned construction com ...more
Jul 02, 2012 Mr rated it liked it
Location, location, location. Most of what's fresh & interesting about this novel by a dependable thriller writer is the setting in China. The politics, culture, business ethics and language complexities all add nuances to the pell-mell story of what would otherwise be a straightforward hostage-recovery assignment given to a contract employee for a global security outfit called Rutherford Risk. In Shanghai, almost everything undertaken by agent John Knox and his Chinese "Emma Peel," Grace Ch ...more
Warren-Newport Public Library
Aug 20, 2014 Warren-Newport Public Library rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
This is the first in the series and I can’t believe I had never read it until now. It is an awesomely and cleverly plotted novel. The Risk Agent begins when a Chinese national working for an American-owned construction company is grabbed off the streets of Shanghai in broad daylight. His one-man security detail goes missing as well.

Rutherford Risk, the company’s international security contractor, specializes in negotiation for and recovery of kidnapped hostages. Private investigation is illegal
Jan 16, 2016 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I'd read Ridley Pearson before, but if I did it was before Shelfari because he's not on my Shelfari shelves. This is the first book in an international thriller/espionage series. This one takes place in Shanghai, China where 2 people are kidnapped. A security company hires Grace Chu and John Knox to find and rescue the victims. Grace Chu has connections to the Chinese victim and the other victim, Clete Danner, is an old friend of John's plus being the guardian Godfather to John's broth ...more
B.G.M. Hall
Sep 25, 2012 B.G.M. Hall rated it liked it
I was drawn to Ridley Pearson not because of a review, a cool cover or a clever blurb, but because he plays bass guitar in the Rock Bottom Remainders (where the lead and rhythm guitarists are Dave Barry and Stephen King). Because of that connection, I picked up a couple of his books and enjoyed them.
The Risk Agent combined an author I liked with some story elements I'm using in my current writing project, so I expected to devour it.
Instead, I found it an ok read, but didn't love it. The basic pl
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Ridley Pearson is the author of more than twenty novels, including the New York Times bestseller KILLER WEEKEND; the Lou Boldt crime series; and many books for young readers, including the award-winning children's novels PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS, PETER AND THE SHADOW THIEVES, and PETER AND THE SECRET OF RUNDOON, which he cowrote with Dave Barry. Pearson lives with his wife and two daughters, div ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Risk Agent (4 books)
  • Choke Point (Risk Agent, #2)
  • The Red Room (Risk Agent, #3)
  • White Bone (Risk Agent, #4)

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