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The Risk Agent (Risk Agent #1)

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  776 ratings  ·  168 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 diff
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by Putnam Adult (first published 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,820)
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Amy Lignor
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
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
Zohar -
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 wi
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
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
Cathy Cole
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
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
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
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
Richard G
Jun 30, 2012 Richard G rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
Warren-Newport Public Library
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
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
Michael Martz
This is one of the most disappointing books by a formerly-favorite author ever.... I've read everything Ridley Pearson has written over the years and anxiously awaited this effort, but it was quite bad. The problems:

- Unnecessarily convoluted story line. Way too many twists and turns to be believable. Even though most readers haven't visited China and we understand it's a different world over there, much of what happens through this book just doesn't make sense.

- Poorly written. Pearson has alwa
Jan 05, 2014 Joyce added it
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
Tim Smith
First, a confession. I am a sucker for a series. It's enjoyable to see a main character - hero or heroine - have their story told and see them develop into recognizable person. Add a good back story and a believable plot, and you have me hooked. However, Pearson stretches the bounds of believabilty in this first book of the series with a tale of corruption set in China. Added to that is the host of villains that the reader is hard pressed to keep track of without a score card. The only things th ...more
Ridley Pearson is one of my favorite authors. This latest book, however, is a little frenetic, with a confusing plot. The book is set in China, and immerses itself in the Chinese culture. It's a fascinating ride, but at times difficult to follow. It gets even more complicated as a ton of characters are added to the mix, with lots of sub-groups, motives and allegiances. This one needs a re-read to pull all of the pieces together. Enjoyable, but not easy. I was expecting a summer-read-type; this o ...more
Gina Williams
Having enjoyed both the Lou Boldt and Walt Fleming series of books, I was eager to meet Ridley’s newest protagonist John Knox. As it turns out there are two protagonists in the Risk Agent. Meet John Knox, a self-employed civilian with plenty of military/combat/covert training, and Grace Chu, former Chinese military now accountant.

These two civilian operatives pair up on the streets of Shanghai as they try to locate a kidnapped reporter and purported blackmailer, while balancing their actions aga
Luanne Ollivier
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
Aug 28, 2012 Jenny rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc, own
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
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
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
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
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
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
#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
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
Pr Latta
[audio] Having not read Pearson, I jumped at this first title in a new series that got a nice review at Audiofile Magazine and I'm glad I did: waiting for #2. Admittedly, there are challenges. I felt like a needed a road map (I have no familiarity with China) as well as character map. Had I been reading the book rather than listening, I'd have been looking up locations and references to places as well as jotting down the relationships of the characters. But once I got involved I thoroughly enjoy ...more
B.G.M. Hall
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
This is the first book in the "Grace Chu and John Knox novels" series and the first book I have read by Ridley Pearson. It is a fast-paced, page-turner set in Shanghai complete with many bilingual characters. The Chinese setting includes aspects of the culture, including pleasantries, saving face, and family ways of relating. The Americans in the story are either greedy and manipulative, or hard as steel with a "no man left behind" attitude. The unlikely pairing of Grace Chu and John Knox create ...more
From Amazon: After a Chinese national working for an American-owned construction company is kidnapped in Shanghai, Rutherford Risk—a hostage rescue firm—is called in. For the job, the company recruits two outsiders: Grace Chu, a refined forensic expert, to follow the money—and John Knox, a hard charger who is experienced in both combat and the street culture of Shanghai. But following the money leads to more complex and hazardous consequences than either anticipated. Who is behind the kidnapping ...more
When a Chinese national and an American are kidnapped in Shanghai, Rutherford Risk brings in John Knox and Grace Chu to rescue them before the kidnappers’ deadline. But first, John and Grace must peel away layer upon layer of deception to find the true motive.

I liked John and Grace almost immediately and rooted for their success. That’s what a great novelist is supposed to do – make you care about his characters – and Ridley Pearson is one of the best.

Pearson keeps the tension high throughout th
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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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