Doug Bradshaw's Reviews > Rules of Deception

Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich
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Sep 06, 08

Read in September, 2008

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 long pauses between some of the characters that didn't quite work timing wise. The boogeyman is always there ready to jump out and kill him and yet sometimes, he keeps his distance and we forget about him.

2. Like in a Ludlum novel, the main character, Dr. Jonathan Ransom, is constantly confronted with shocking and crazy things that plunge him deeper and deeper into a maze that seems like he will never find his way out. Can you imagine being in love with a wife who is actually leading a totally provocative second life?

3. So the plot thickens, the world is about ready to experience world war three, while Jonathan is dodging bullets, gets lucky over and over again and escapes death and being arrested by the Swiss police, all while having just lost his wife in a skiing accident. A little too much Hollywood here. And yet, like Hollywood, it's fun. That said, I would enjoy it even more if he'd read a little LeCarre or Len Deighton and incorporate more plot plausibility, a little subtlety, a little more real spy stuff and a little less harrowing and exaggerated story lines. Not that the story lines themselves are bad. But they're too quickly put together and too immediate and I felt, too unbelievable, which makes the story not quite as gripping as it could have been.

All and all, it's worth the read, and like "Da Vinci Code," moves along quickly and in short readable chapters with characters you like and care about. It's a great airport novel but with a little work, could have been better.
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