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Rules of Deception (Jonathon Ransom #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  4,031 Ratings  ·  438 Reviews
New York Times Bestseller
Dr. Jonathan Ransom, a surgeon for Doctors Without Borders, is climbing in the Swiss Alps with his wife, Emma, when she falls into a hidden crevasse and dies. Twenty-four hours later, Jonathan receives an envelope addressed to his wife containing two baggage-claim tickets. Puzzled, he journeys to a railway station only to find himself inexplicably
Hardcover, 390 pages
Published July 15th 2008 by Doubleday
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Community Reviews

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Doug Bradshaw
Aug 24, 2008 Doug Bradshaw rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading this book and read it fairly quickly. However. I decided to give it three stars instead of four because even though it kept me going and entertained, I felt it was a bit too contrived. Here are some of my observations:

1. The book reads like a Dan Brown or Ludlum novel. Very short chapters, moving from one key player to another and back again. We see things happening simultaneously from three or four different perspectives. However, there are some surprises thrown in and some l
May 11, 2008 Sarah rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Noone
You should probably never read fiction based on your job. It annoys you when they get things wrong and it distracts you from the plot - making you wonder what else the author got wrong. I'm only half way through - thumbing through it listlessly before bed every night. It is very Dan Brown - esque; right down to the useless facts thrown in there that are supposed to explain sentences that the author just said - and given my understanding of all the errors that he made with MSF, I REALLY don't tru ...more
Misericordia ❣
Feb 08, 2017 Misericordia ❣ rated it it was amazing
An extremely convoluted plot detailing a number of misguided people simultaneously doing equally misguided stuff. It illustrates rather well my favourite of Pelevin's 'Миром правит не тайная ложа, а явная лажа' which means something like this: 'The world is governed not by covert lodge but rather by some overt fudge'.
Entertaining a lot.
Nancy (Hrdcovers)
Apr 18, 2009 Nancy (Hrdcovers) rated it really liked it
Reich is one of those authors whom I feel I discovered all on my own. More than ten years ago, when he was making the rounds plugging his debut book, Numbered Account, I saw him on one of the morning shows and was immediately interested in him. He had an investment banking background and had lived for quite awhile in Switzerland where he got the inspriration for that first book he wrote. After Numbered Account, there came The Runner....a book that proved he was no flash in the pan. Here was the ...more
Nov 14, 2010 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, espionage
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andreea Daia
******Full Disclosure**** This was an ARC copy, that was received through the GoodReads Advance program. I am grateful for the chance to have read this novel, which I might not have purchased otherwise.

The premise of the story is that after a ski accident, Dr. Jonathon Ransom suddenly discovers that his wife lived a double life, the alternate life being much more interesting than the one they shared. Before he knows it, he finds himself trapped in a whirlpool of political intrigues he does
Jun 21, 2013 Emily rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, fiction
Having given this author's first novel only two stars as well, I think I'm probably done, even though I wanted to like his work.

The Swiss milieu seems promising and I have a high tolerance for fanciful thrillers (in this one, a Doctors Without Borders MD stumbles upon a plot to smuggle equipment to Iran to enrich uranium). But this book also has pacing problems and its reversals were not as surprising as they're meant to be. I'm not a reader who avidly attempts to anticipate plot twists--maybe
Aug 21, 2008 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
Reich, Christopher. RULES OF DECEPTION. (2008). ****. This thriller has gotten rave reviews from scads of critics, and I think it is Reich’s best book to date. It is still formulaic and is a good source of seafood – especially red herrings. The protagonist is Dr. Jonathan Ransom, a surgeon for Doctors Without Borders. He is an enthusiastic mountaineer in his off time, and is enjoying a vacation in Switzerland with his wife after being transferred there from a working stint in Africa. He and his ...more
May 24, 2012 Sbfrazier rated it liked it
I ride the bus a lot, and I label "bus books." Books that are easy to read and don't take a lot of concentration. Rules of deception is an excellent "bus book." It is a spy thriller with plenty of plot twists and turns, some of which you don't see coming. It is incredibly face paced, and hard to put put down. Reich has done some monumental research which makes the story seem real, and the terrorist threats to our security scary. My major complaints are with the prose, which at times seems lazy a ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Keith rated it liked it
Jonathan is on top of the world; at least by most lights that would appear to be the case. As a handsome, young doctor working for Doctors Without Boarders he leads an adventuresome life in exotic locals; has a beautiful, talented and dedicated young wife and a reputation as an experienced and accomplished mountain climber. As the adventure begins he is standing on a peak in the snow covered Swiss Alps, not quite at the top of the world but close enough. Then fate changes everything; a mistimed ...more
Toni Osborne
Jun 06, 2009 Toni Osborne rated it it was amazing
Jonathan Ransom, book1

This is an exciting thriller, it has everything: a likable hero facing enormous amounts of danger and scuttling out of it, exotic locals with amazing settings, an over the edge story that will keep you turning page after page.

The prologue is slow to start, then, what appears to be a butterfly flying around a high-security compound is discovered to be a mechanical device…the alarm is sounded…..

Next we meet Jonathan Ransom and his wife Emma both serving with Doctors Without
I received “Rules of Deception” by Christopher Reich as a giveaway copy. It is an espionage thriller, filled with fast action, fast cars and international intrigue. It is a high action adventure whose main character Dr. Johnathan Ransom, is a surgeon with‘’Doctors Without Borders whose wife Emma is killed during a freak accident during a skiing trip in the Swiss Alps. This is a book with twists and turns and although it is a bit longer than I would have liked, it was a bit difficult to keep the ...more
Sonia Cristina
Nov 22, 2012 Sonia Cristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: português
Depois da morte da sua mulher, Emma, Jonathan Ransom, médico dos Médicos sem Fronteiras, descobre que ela levava uma vida dupla, como agente secreta ou espia e é arrastado numa corrente de acontecimentos que o levam a tentar conhecer melhor a mulher e também o levam numa espécie de missão para evitar um ataque terrorista a um avião comercial, em Zurique.

Este livro deu-me muito gosto de ler, lê-se muito bem e deixou-me em ânsias para saber o que se vai passar a seguir e, por isso, no fim de seman
Clark Zlotchew
Aug 17, 2011 Clark Zlotchew rated it it was amazing
Christopher Reich, in Rules of Deception, outdoes himself. The action of this espionage/thriller starts on the very first page. The reader has no choice but to keep following the action. All the action is set in Switzerland, but has ramification around the world. There are, in addition to exciting action, very complicated connections between characters, and more twists and turns than a labyrinth. It is fascinating the way in which Reich leads you to believe that character X is a "good guy" only ...more
Feb 09, 2015 Mark rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Enjoyable spy thriller set in the towns and mountains of Switzerland, with a few diversions to Washington and the Middle East. As an accidental spy, Jonathon Ransom, makes a few far-fetched escapes as he evades law enforcement as well as a team of professional agents working for a shadowy organisation as he struggles to uncover the mystery of his wife's double life. Sufficiently fast paced that you don't really notice all the plot-holes til you review the whole conspiracy at the denouement. Some ...more
A departure from Reich's ususal financial world plots, although he doesn't stray from the spies. Dr. Ransom miraculously escapes some life threatening situations to create a novel with breathless highs and boring lows. A confusing cast of characters and some unlikely plot connections move the book along. Reich leaves the plot open for a sequel, which at this late date, we know was written & published; be sure to read this title first. An entertaining read, but Reich is no threat to a well-wr ...more
May 20, 2010 Mark rated it liked it
Reich has created a very Ludlum-esque story with a "fish-out-of-water" theme....A heroic "Doctors Without Borders" physician is trying to determine why people are out to kill him after the tragic death of his wife while mountaineering...he soon discovers his wife may not have been who he thought she with the other Reich novels the hero is dealing with another sub-rosa government operation that endangers world peace...kind of an enduring theme I've noticed as I wend my way through some o ...more
Dec 20, 2016 Catherine rated it liked it
I stumbled upon this book while staying at a small bed-and-breakfast place on the small island of Ko Yao Noi in Thailand. The place had a small revolving library, near the kitchen, where guests could leave/take books. The book takes place in Switzerland, and in cities where I had just visited two weeks previously. So reading this was a pleasure in two ways - I always like discovering new reads randomly and to read a book set in a place I just visited. It was an enjoyable political thriller to bo ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Natalia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I think I am finally clear on who was working for who and what each group was trying to accomplish. I think. I'm not 100% sure, but it was definitely a fun ride. The book is absolutely preposterous, of course, but that's what makes it fun. It's all spy vs spy, trust nobody, double blinds and secret identities. I can't help myself, by the last third of the book, I was carrying it around all evening reading in every free moment because I had to know how it ended.
Bookmarks Magazine

Critics largely agreed that Rules of Deception is a smart, timely, and page-turning thriller. Filled with high-profile politicos, fake identities, and a nuclear arms conspiracy, the novel is so adeptly composed that readers were unable to quickly discern the good guys from the bad. Although one critic panned Ransom's characterization, reviewers generally agreed that the doctor-climber is the quintessential classic espionage protagonist

May 13, 2011 Lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book from first reads from goodreads. For a really thick book this was a really quick read. Full of action, suspense and of course deception. It was about secret agents, government officials, terroists, bombs...action on every page. you will not be able to put the book down. I am looking forward to reading book #2 Rules of Vengeance in the near future.
Aug 15, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it
great espionage thriller! many plot twists.... some obvious, some not. A little complicated to follow the different characters in the begining, but that all smooths out towards the middle.
If you haven't started this series and you like thriller-espionage books, a la Ludlum, et al, pick this one up! Book #1 of a series.
Richard White
Dec 30, 2015 Richard White rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Just not as good as the others I've read.
Mar 22, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense, 2016
This book was like a james bond movie, which I like.
Mar 04, 2017 Wayne rated it liked it
Rules of Deception is my first Christopher Reich book, and a most complex story it is. You have to have either a good memory or the ability to read this book in a short period of time.....the reason being there are so many characters. It takes a while to figure out who is good and who is bad....and what is good and what is bad. However, that's what kept me reading this espionage thriller.
Dr. Ransom's wife apparently is killed during a skiing accident. Her husband, Jonathan, soon discovers that
Michelle Connell
Mar 08, 2017 Michelle Connell rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense, novels, thriller
There were so many twists and turns in this book, it was almost too many to keep up. Who was spying on who in the area of nuclear weapons? Who sold parts to Iran so they could build missiles with enriched uranium?

This book has a plot that keeps you guessing and wondering who the good guys are. A very good book.
Sharon Chase
Mar 19, 2017 Sharon Chase rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
A good book with espionage, mystery and story within a story. It kept you turning the pages. Pretty detailed in some of the areas, but all in all an action, adventure keeping the reader on their toes. On to the next one in the series, Rules of Vengeance.
Dawn Winkler
Feb 22, 2017 Dawn Winkler rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite book series.
Aug 02, 2008 Christine rated it it was amazing
Authors and critics have been coming out of the woodwork to praise the latest effort of Christopher Reich, comparing him with the literary greats of the spy novel business: Ludlum, Le Carre, Follett, and others. Then there’s the hype the novel has drawn, shooting up to best seller status. Finally, there is the International Thriller Writers Award from 2006. Are all of these accolades warranted for Reich’s latest techno-thriller, "Rules of Deception"? In a word, “yes.”

There are so many things tha
Feb 27, 2017 Carol rated it it was amazing
Great mystery.
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He was born in Tokyo and moved to Los Angeles in 1965. He attended Georgetown University and the University of Texas and worked in Switzerland before returning to the United States to become an author. He lives in San Diego and is the author of seven novels. He has a wife and 2 kids. His father is Willy Wolfgang Reich

"A relentlessly fast-paced espionage thriller, ripped from tomorrow's headlines b
More about Christopher Reich...

Other Books in the Series

Jonathon Ransom (3 books)
  • Rules of Vengeance (Jonathan Ransom, #2)
  • Rules of Betrayal (Jonathan Ransom, #3)

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