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Choke Point (A Risk Agent Novel) Hardcover – June 4, 2013

Book 2 of 3 in the A Risk Agent Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Rutherford Risk agents Grace Chu and John Knox return (after The Risk Agent, 2012), this time to Amsterdam’s hidden-in-plain-sight underworld, where they’re assigned to shut down a recently exposed child-labor operation. The criminals quickly silence witnesses by kidnapping an escaped child worker and killing an investigating EU official, shielding themselves behind an army of thugs and neighborhood spies. Working without a backup team, Chu and Knox are forced to execute a delicate scheme of tandem undercover operations with each cover dangerously close to outing the next. Unexpectedly, Rutherford Risk decides to pull out, leaving the pair only hours to track the ringleaders and rescue the children. The assignment’s intensity targets both characters’ Achilles heels, and the resulting missteps further the action and highlight humanizing flaws. Knox lowers his guard for a reckless affair, and Chu struggles to establish her position in the male-dominated security industry, while both remain confused by the feelings they each to their partnership. It’s obvious why Pearson has earned praise as thriller grand master; the pacing is flawlessly anxiety ridden, and the investigative elements are richly layered, particularly regarding undercover operations and tech espionage. --Christine Tran

Review

 Praise for CHOKEPOINT

"John Knox and Grace Chu (The Risk Agent) return in another high-stakes international thriller set this time in Amsterdam…. Pearson has written another compelling thriller. Knox and Chu are protagonists who engage the reader…. A winner.”
Library Journal

"[Chu and Knox] make a good team, with his brawn and her brains, as they fight and kill their way to the top of the child-abuse cabal. Plenty of action and some steamy sex help make the pages fly by."  

—Publishers Weekly 



"It's obvious why Pearson has earned praise as thriller grand master; the pacing is flawlessly anxiety ridden, and the investigative elements are richly layered."
Booklist

 

 Praise for THE RISK AGENT


 

“Rich with the atmosphere of Shanghai…and filled with breathtaking suspense. …Famous for his plotting and attention to details, Pearson is off to a great start with his compelling and multilayered new protagonists.”

Library Journal (starred) 

“A cunning thriller worthy of the promised series… Exotic locale. Credible heroics. Vicarious thrills. Fans will want more, and soon.” 
Kirkus Reviews


“Pearson, who lived with his family in Shanghai for a year, has created an intense and realistic thriller. The atmosphere and culture of China draw readers into a new world.... With “The Risk Agent,” he has a great start to what appears to be a new series.”

Associated Press

"Forensic accountant Grace Chu is a cool, whip-smart beauty trained in the Chinese military. John Knox is a combat veteran with focus and ferocity in equal measure....Pearson renders steady suspense and a vibrant portrait of a city that blends history, mystery, and a remarkably resilient citizenry."

Booklist 

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Product Details

  • Series: A Risk Agent Novel (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399158847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399158841
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ridley Pearson (www.ridleypearson.com), the first American to be awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Wadham College, Oxford University, is the bestselling author of over 50 novels including, Peter And the Starcatchers (co-written with Dave Barry), The Kingdom Keepers series, and two dozen crime novels including: Probable Cause, Beyond Recognition, Killer Weekend, The Risk Agent, and The Red Room. His novel The Diary Of Ellen Rimbauer, a prequel to a Stephen King miniseries, was a New York Times #1 bestseller, and a ABC TV movie (2009).


Peter and the Starcatcher, a stage play adaptation written by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) won 5 Tonys for its Broadway run and is currently touring the US.

Ridley is a founding member of, and plays bass guitar in, the all-author rock band, The Rockbottom Remainders (www.rockbottomremainders.com), with Dave Barry, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., James McBride, Amy Tan and Greg Iles. The band has raised over 2.5 million dollars for charities.

Customer Reviews

Good plot and believable characters.
fox
The writing style seems a bit stilted or forced for my taste.
RandyF
Ridley Pearson is one of my favorite authors.
Don Goehner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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 Pearson's latest novel entitled CHOKE POINT, the trio of protagonists that represent the private security firm known as Rutherford Risk are up against a much larger adversary with international ties and seemingly unlimited resources.

First introduced in last year's novel THE RISK AGENT the team of David Dulwich (team leader) and his `employees' John Knox and Grace Chu are doing battle in Amsterdam against a ring of knot shops that are utilizing and exploiting underage labor. A knot shop is literally a manufacturer known for providing knock-off versions of Oriental rugs that are sold for export at a significant profit.

The very thought of this crime against humanity --- and children in particular --- disgusts Knox and Chu and they quickly become personally engaged in doing all they can to bring down this crime ring. Knox is an American freelance operative with a skill-set that includes the ability to think quickly on his feet and raise the level of violence beyond the appropriate level when necessary. Chu is a forensic accountant from China who also can handle herself physically.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By doctorprofessorlonghair on June 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
John Knox and Grace Chu represent a 21st century twist on covert military ops--they work as contractors for Rutherford Risk, an international security firm, hired to (discretely) handle crises from around the world. THeir 'handler' is David Dulwich, aka Sarge, under whom Knox served in the army in Iraq; those three form the core of CHOKE POINT (set in Amsterdam) and its prequel, THE RISK AGENT (set in Shanghai), both first-rate international thrillers--exciting, full of surprises, and with a great and evolving chemistry between Knox and Chu. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. on June 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Seeing Ridley Pearson's name on a novel is a guarantee that I will pick it up. I have enjoyed many of his novels, but Choke Point not so much. Child labor and the sex trade using children raises alarm bells in all of us, and we want the full force of the law brought down on those engaging in the trade. Selecting it as a topic almost guarantees interest. Yet in my opinion, Pearson wasted his chance to write a sizzling novel using these topics. Too much of it was devoted to useless chases and wrong turns. Sexual energy between John Knox and the two lead women characters just didn't work. And it seemed that the children were often secondary considerations. Many reviewers will see this differently than I did, and hey, I am glad they enjoyed the novel more than I did. I will still pick up the next novel with the Pearson name on it, forever hopeful that the writing I admired will return.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda Hayes on July 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big Ridley Pearson fan, but I much more enjoy the Lou Boldt mysteries than
the espionage stories.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Edward Herman on July 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Book's main premise is to build characters that are interesting. While that is accomplished to some extent
the author continues to repeat each main character's fears, flaws and worries over and over again. This slows
the book down as it repeat and repeats. The relationship of the main male character and his brother makes no
sense.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By dr indestructible on June 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read thousands of books and most of Ridley Pearson's books and I would rate this book as one of the worst books written of all time. I could not finish the book due to the hack writing, the aimless plot, and the lack of coherent dialogue. I will never read another risk agent novel and it is unlikely I will try Pearson again if his efforts have deteriorated to this level. I will also in the future give no regard to the phony acclaim from other writers since they obviously don't read the books themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alastair Browne on August 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Knox and Grace Chu are back in "Choke Point," and the book is an improvement over "Risk Agent." It's easier to read, the characters are solid and easier to keep track of in the reader's mind, and the plot is straight and to the point. In other words, there's no confusion here. John Knox and Grace Chu are back, this time in Amsterdam, Holland, to crack a slave ring of young oriental girls (by this I mean India and South Asia), whose job it is to hook oriental rugs by hand. These girls are chained in groups and forbidden to talk to each other, and if I girl make a mistake, or is too slow, everyone in the group is punished. This sweatshop is known as a "knot shop."
John Knox and Grace Chu try to crack this ring by finding out the location and who is involved, and some Europeans are involved as well, Kreiger being one. The ring is headed by a mobster named Fahiz. Joining Knox and Chu are Dulwich, a friend of Knox, and a local photographer, Sonia, who is kept as much from the action as possible. To her, Knox is called Steele, but she is pulled into the action nonetheless. A police chief, Brower, is also trying to crack the ring but wants Knox and his people out of this, for fear they may do more harm than good. But cracking this ring isn't all that simple, and many the the worker's families don't want this to stop. This is because many immigrant families are poor, and need their children to work in these knot shops to support their families, so Knox, et. al., go through a lot. One slave, Maja, is taken by Knox to her family, and they tell Knox to stay out of this affair for this very reason.
The book does move fast, and action such as ring busts, fights, and arrests happen before the reader knows it, so one must be prepared to when this will happen, i.e., read it slowly.
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