Synopses & 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, the company's international security contractor, specializes in negotiation for and recovery of kidnapped hostages. Private investigation is illegal in today's China. Operating within her borders is difficult at best: complex political situations and corrupt individuals combined with the intricacies of Chinese culture make such work anything but straightforward. The security company recruits two unique outsiders to do its bidding. Grace Chu is a forensic accountant hired to follow the money; John Knox is a civilian with unparalleled training in both combat and the street culture of Shanghai, brought in to support her. Chu's top-notch American education as well as her Chinese military service makes her an unassuming but effective operative, while Knox's take-no-prisoners attitude provides the street smarts and arm-twisting necessary to pursue the location of the hostages. Following the money trail leads to more complex ? and dangerous ? consequences than either Chu or Knox anticipated. Who is actually behind the kidnapping? More important, can Knox and Chu locate the two hostages ahead of the ransom deadline? Rich with the atmosphere of today's Shanghai in all its contradictory beauty, crackling with tension-filled suspense, The Risk Agent introduces us to two compelling new characters ? and ushers in the start of a brilliant new series.
"As one of the two leads of this contemporary suspense novel set in China is female forensic accountant (and, conveniently, former Chinese intelligence agent) Grace Chu, narrator Todd Haberkorn must create a compelling and believable woman's voice. Fortunately, he does, which removes any barrier to an effective rendering of the first book, about efforts to rescue an employee of an American company snatched in China, in a promising new series from Pearson. The other protagonist, John Knox an importer with security training based in Shanghai who's introduced somewhat the worse for wear after more than a week in the jungles of Cambodia, could come across as a clichÃ©, the typical macho action hero, but Haberkorn helps to make him more than that, injecting an undertone of wry gallows humor to his performance. A Putnam hardcover. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Grace Chu is an American-educated Chinese national now working as a forensic accountant after serving in the Chinese army as an intelligence officer. John Knox is an American who parlayed his military service during the first Iraqi war into a lucrative import/export business?which now provides him the official access he needs to work freelance undercover operations throughout the world. Both are highly skilled operatives capable of deft subterfuge or extreme violence, if circumstances require. They meet for the first (but not last) time in Shanghai when the security firm they work for is hired to retrieve a kidnapped employee critical to the success of a multi-billion dollar real-estate deal. But the stakes are high and Grace and Knox find themselves at the center of a deadly international imbroglio.