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Choke Point

(Risk Agent #2)

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  867 ratings  ·  145 reviews
When an award-winning foreign journalist reveals the existence of an Amsterdam-based sweatshop known as a “knot shop” that employs and enslaves young girls as laborers, private security firm Rutherford Risk is hired by a philanthropist to find it and shut it down.

David “Sarge” Dulwich, Knox’s former boss from their government contractor days, knows that Knox's cultural kn
Hardcover, 399 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published June 1st 2013)
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3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  867 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Jul 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: yuck-bleh-arrgh
Ridley Pearson is a prolific writer, yet his works seem uneven to me. I enjoyed CUT AND RUN and have been trying to love/like his other publications.

RISK AGENT was good, so I tried CHOKE POINT (2nd in this series), which was barely tolerable. I certainly boned up on skimming and scanning reading techniques toward the last quarter of the book. I wanted to finish it - to just FINISH it, but I wasn't surprised when it did not offer a satisfying denouement.

The characters are flat; the plot fails t
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
John Knox, Grace Chu and David "Sarge" Dulwich are agents for Rutherford Risk, an international security firm. John and Grace have worked together before, and Dulwich is Knox's former boss from their days as government "contractors." Their mission, on behalf of an philanthropist, is to shut down a knot shop in Amsterdam that uses young girls as laborers and sometimes prostitutes. The anonymous philanthropist angle is a bit far-fetched, but allows our team to fight crime without considering the f ...more
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love this new series from Ridley Pearson, but I have a hard time really saying why.  Hard enough that I never did get around to reviewing the first book.

John Knox is an ex-mercenary (oh, sorry, the Americans call them "security consultants", because mercenaries are only used by evil people) and currently runs an import-export business with his handicapped brother. Grace Chu is a an ex-Chinese People's Army soldier and currently a forensic accountant and hot (in every way) hacker.

They get calle
Stacy Bearse
Aug 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
The action never pauses in this thriller, set in the charming city of Amsterdam. A sophisticated team of investigators is on the trail of an elusive sweatshop operator, who enslaves youngsters to manufacture faux oriental rugs. The plot unwinds nicely, although the constant stream of fights, chases and sex scenes is a bit overwhelming. An entertaining airplane read.
Lisa Garrett
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I like this author but just can't get into this particular series.
Ray Palen
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
By definition a ‘choke point’ is a geographical feature on land such as a valley, defile or a bridge, or at sea such as a strait which an armed force is forced to pass, sometimes on a substantially narrower front, and therefore greatly decreasing its combat power, in order to reach its objective. A choke point would allow a numerically inferior defending force to successfully prevent a larger opponent because the attacker would not be able to bring their superior numbers to bear.

In Ridley Pearso
I read this book because it's a follow-up on the first in the series, THE RISK AGENT, which I enjoyed.

The story is based in the existence of an Oriental rug making sweat shop in Amsterdam, populated by young girls, 13 or younger, whose small fingers are adept at tying the wool. Some of these girls are working to support their families, but some of them are actual slaves, kidnapped and chained to the floor, who are sold once judged to be less efficient at their task. All are exploited or intimid
Loved the first book in this series, last year's Risk Agent, so this was very disappointing. Perhaps there's too much plot--too many twists, too many characters with a role to play; I found it hard to follow and to stay engaged. Pearson also threw his protagonists into situations that showed up their weaknesses rather than strengths, and while I suppose that ultimately creates more complex characters, it seemed overdone. Pearson's strengths are his sympathetic characters (and evil antagonists), ...more
Apr 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Grace Chu and John Knox "Risk Agents"are sent to Amsterdam to find and shut down a rug knotting business using underage girls some of whom are held prisoner while others are free to go to their families but are subject to the same conditions. Many scrapes with the men in charge of the rug makers and the Dutch police as they work to find out the identities of the people grabbing and holding and selling the girls. Most of he book is set in Amsterdam and has some local color through out..
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
A confusing and chaotic book that is not up to Mr. Pearson's usual level of work. Far too much of Superman and Superwoman rather than real people no matter how well trained they might be. This is unfortunate because I thought that John Knox and Grace Chu had real potential based on their previous appearance in The Risk Agent. This book is well below that one. I think it is time for Mr. Pearson to return to either a Boldt/Mathews mystery or go back to Walt Flemming.
Vicki L
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was my first Ridley Pearson book. I have to say that I found it very hard to follow. I ended up putting it down and reading 2 books in full before I finished this one. Really had to force myself to finish it. Might try one more of his books... based on the reviews it looks like the 1st book in this series was a lot better.
Jack Alexander
Jun 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: unfinished
Well I tried. I've never read a story that has NO pronouns until this one. After three chapters, I don't know where the story occurs, who the characters are, or what the issue is.
Finally finished it. OKay.
Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lots of action and character development. I liked the 3 main characters who had their human flaws in addition to their extraordinary strengths, esp. the Chinese woman. An interesting look at the immigrant neighborhoods of Amsterdam.
Jul 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
I don't care for stories based on brutality with victims unable to defend and care for themselves. Child abuse and victimization sums up this story in a nut shell. 1 of 10 stars
Deborah Lyman
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
John Knox is on a mission to locate and shut down an Amsterdam-based sweatshop or knot shop that uses enslaved pre-teen girls as forced labor to make rugs. Knox is paired with forensic accountant Grace Chu, who can trap and trace even the most sensitive financial information using her finest hacking skills.

Pearson spins a tale with vivid descriptions of the beautiful streets and canals of Amsterdam and action packed scenes where Knox and Grace face Middle Eastern mobsters, the owner of a local b
Ryan Thomas
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I jumped into this saga on book 2, so I was a little lost about certain things, but the main story was pretty engaging. I plan to go back and start from book 1 at this point. Pearson, as always, does a lot of research into the police procedural practices, and Choke Point was no exception. Here we see a special ops company trying to save children from forced child labor and sex trafficking. It takes place in Amsterdam where we get an in-depth look at both the legal and illegal sex trades. Rife wi ...more
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good follow-up with a continuing thread and more character development. I love that Grace is ambitious and works to advance and not just altruistically though she does prefer field work. Same with Joe, who has the expensive burden of his brother's care to motivate him in addition to loving the covert more and more. And, it's interesting that his feelings are honest - it is a burden, one he's committed to but the stress of it keeps him from home. The fighting is realistic in that they get hurt, c ...more
Peter Herrmann
Dec 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
My first Ridley Pearson book. My last. His protagonists are just too cool for me. They converse in crypto-talk: sort of ESP anticipation of what the other is going to say two or three conversational turn-arounds later. Their repartee usually leaves me in the dust. Not always though (am not completely senile yet). Regardless, these agents are devoid of personality. So are all the people (good and bad) who they interact with. Their prowess and spy-craft are superhuman. I have a feeling this book w ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The crew from Rutherford Risk goes to Amsterdam to investigate and shut down a knot shop, which uses child labor and slave labor to make rugs, after an article is written about a young girl with an infected leg ulcer from leg irons.
Knox, Grace Chu and Sarge again take no prisoners in their quest to right wrongs.
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Still like John Knox and Grace Chu in Book #2 of the Risk Agent series....this time we are in Amsterdam and dealing with child labor...still the intrigue, still some violence and still a little innuendo and romance...great combination!
E.R. Yatscoff
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Grace and Knox are back at it and this time going against child labor and the child sex trade. It is a different story angle and there's enough action and imaging to keep readers happy. This was a library book. Read my Mexico crime novel Teeth of the Cocodrilo
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was almost as good as the first in the series. The John Knox and the other main characters return for a riveting story.
Chris Birdy
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Very disappointing. There was non-stop action; however, the story made little or no sense. The characters didn't seem real.
Magic Mary Austin
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bruce Gleba
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: pearson-ridley
Well written - a little unbelievable towards the end - ending was a little confusing as to who he went to see
Deyth Banger
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fast_read, fast_view
- What really changes the a story is a blink... what shakes minds of all readers is somebody from the dead comming back, what really keeps alive this book is the way the whole story ends.
Tim Reisler
Feb 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
Disjointed, poor flow, characters developed but seemed very wooden and mechanical. Action ok, but not terribly descriptive
Jay Hatcher
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
It was a bit cumbersome to read for me.
Lois Blanco
knox and Chu in Amsterdam! Trying to get ahead of Turkish rug merchants using young girls to knot rugs to support their families or in slavery one step before sex trade. I can picture the background of the red light district and canals.
Gloria Feit
Nov 30, 2013 rated it liked it
In the second novel in what is billed as an “international thriller series” (“Risk Agent” was the first entry), Ridley Pearson brings the return of John Knox, a man who has a useful ‘cover’ as a legitimate international exporter, and Grace Chu, a Chinese woman who was a former forensic accountant but has “recently proven herself a quick study of computer hacking.” She also holds a master’s degree in criminology from USC and, because of her former training with the Chinese Army, “is no slouch in ...more
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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

Other books in the series

Risk Agent (4 books)
  • The Risk Agent (Risk Agent, #1)
  • The Red Room (Risk Agent, #3)
  • White Bone (Risk Agent, #4)