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Rules of Deception Hardcover – July 15, 2008

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More from Christopher Reich
Bestselling author Christopher Reich is know for his smart, timely, and page-turning thrillers. Visit Amazon's Christopher Reich Page.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (July 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385524064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385524063
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #876,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Lee Child on Rules of Deception
Lee Child has crafted one of literature's most popular anti-heroes in the form of Jack Reacher, the iconic ex-military policeman of his bestselling novels. The author of Nothing to Lose talks about what makes a good thriller -- and why Christopher Reich is a novelist worthy of a gold medal.

I discovered Christopher Reich exactly ten years ago. His first book came out around the same time my second book was published. The modest prosperity that one’s first book deal brings allowed me to pick up hardcovers that caught my eye. And Numbered Account caught my eye. And it lived up to its promise. It was fast, fresh, glossy, and very exciting. I thought: Reich is a keeper.

And then he got better. It was always clear that he had talent to burn, but he chose to accompany it with a real work ethic. His second, third and fourth books built and built until the release of the next one was an event to be anticipated. (And right there is my only complaint: Reich doesn’t write fast enough.)

His fifth book - The Patriot's Club - was a real achievement. It was a slam-dunk winner of the International Thriller Writer’s first annual Best Novel award. Awards are often awkward. There’s usually a measure of grumbling, because often people don’t agree with the choice of winner. But not a word was heard against "The Patriot’s Club." In fact nothing was heard, because the applause was too loud.

So I was really looking forward to Rules of Deception. I got an advance copy. I cracked it open. I started reading. Mostly I read like any other reader, but a small part of me reads like a writer. I think all writers experience the same thing. We sense things between the lines, especially energy and inspiration.

And ambition.

Rules of Deception starts with a short prologue, and then the first chapter introduces Jonathan Ransom, the main character. Two pages, and then nine pages. The prologue is a teaser. It baits the hook. It’s a two-page masterpiece. It’s intriguing, and then it’s really intriguing. It promises big things ahead. Then chapter one introduces the guy who’s going to have to deal with them. And why, indirectly.

Eleven pages. The reader in me wanted to race ahead. But the writer in me had to pause a moment. Because between the lines I was sensing something. Maybe because it’s an Olympic year I can only explain it like this: picture the high jump event. Six competitors are still in. Then five, then four. Then three. Then the gold, the silver, and the bronze are settled. But the rules of track and field allow the winner to go on. The bar is raised. A personal best. The Olympic record. The bar is raised again. World record height. The stadium goes quiet. The jumper stills himself on the runway. Intense concentration. The gold medal is already in the bag. Uncharted territory. The jumper rocks from foot to foot, his mind on nothing except jumping higher than he has ever jumped before.

That’s exactly the between-the-lines feeling I was getting from Reich, eleven pages into Rules of Deception - a world-class writer preparing to accomplish something truly noteworthy.

There are a further 377 pages. They live up to the promise. --Lee Child

Amazon Exclusive Essay: Christopher Reich on Thrillers
Name your five favorite books.

For me they’re all thrillers. The Day of the Jackal, Eye of the Needle, The Bourne Identity , Noble House, and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. My life stopped when I picked up each of those books and it didn’t start again until I finished the last page. I didn’t actually read them so much as disappear between their covers. That was me trying to catch the Jackal before he assassinated Charles De Gaulle, and me again at the wheel of a Jaguar XKE convertible racing down the Peak in Hong Kong. The fact is that for me life is somehow better when I’m reading a great book. Richer, more exciting…heck, I don’t know, just better.

About two years ago, I decided that it was my turn to write the thriller I’d always wanted to read. I knew exactly where to start. All I had to do was "write what I know." These days, I know a lot about the intelligence community. Not the stuff you read about in the papers -- the stuff you never read about. Over the years, I’ve made a lot of friends in Washington and overseas. Diplomats, spies, soldiers, politicians – men and women at the highest levels of government. And, I can assure you that what they’ve taught me about how the world really works is a lot more interesting and a lot more frightening than you’d ever imagine.

That’s where my newest book, Rules of Deception, comes in. It’s a story about an honest and courageous doctor named Jonathan Ransom. He’s a surgeon who works for Doctors Without Borders in some of the toughest parts of the world. He’s a happily married man with a big heart and a beautiful English wife he deeply loves named Emma who works with him. What Jonathan doesn’t know is that nothing about his life is what it seems. In fact, it’s all a web of lies and he’s caught in the middle of something extraordinarily dangerous.

I can’t say more than that, and I shouldn’t have to, because if I’ve done my job right, when you get to page five you’ll be hooked and you won’t come up for air until it’s all said and done. --Christopher Reich

From Publishers Weekly

In true Hitchcockian tradition, Reich plunges his unsuspecting protagonist, Dr. Jonathan Ransom, into a dangerous world of international intrigue and death. After his wife dies in a skiing accident in the Swiss Alps, Ransom learns she had been leading a double life as a spy. What starts out as a search for answers about his late wife's past quickly escalates into a frantic life and death chase across northern Europe. Paul Michael proves quite adept at narrating this complicated story. Using just the right emphasis on key words, he keeps the listener involved. With solid conviction in his voice, Michael grounds Reich's over-the-top prose. Although his no-frills interpretation of Ransom is a little bland, Michael essays a rogues' gallery of distinctly voiced and accented supporting characters. Reich keeps the action coming, and Michael stays with him chase for chase. A Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, May 5). (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Hi Everyone,

It's great to be part of Amazon's new Author Page. Here's a short bio.

I was born November 12, 1961 in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Los Angeles four years later, in late 1965. I graduated from Harvard School (now Harvard-Westlake) in 1979, then made the move to Washington DC where I attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Upon graduating with a degree in international economics (a field in which I was neither particularly gifted nor interested), I worked as a stock broker for two years. One day my best client said, "Chris, you're a nice guy, but you have no idea what you're doing in this business. You might get into trouble one day. You gotta get your butt to business school." I followed his advice and headed down to Austin, Tx, to earn an MBA at UT.

After graduating from UT, I moved even farther east....all the way to Switzerland, where I joined the Union Bank of Switzerland, first in Geneva and then in Zurich. I left banking and worked first as a consultant, and then as the CEO of a small watch company in Neuchatel. The only thing I missed out on was the chocolate business! Anyway, after 7 years in Switzerland, I decided that it was high time to become an author. I'd never written a short story and I hadn't taken a single English class in college. So what? I was a demon reader and I thought for sure I could do. My wonderful wife supported the decision wholeheartedly and we moved back to Austin, where I would write my first novel, Numbered Account.

The rest, as they say, is history....Or, as I say, "history in the making!!"

Related Media

Customer Reviews

I enjoyed reading this book and read it fairly quickly.
There were just too many long stories, too many characters, and way too many flashbacks.
I enjoyed how the plot kept twisting and their was alot of action in the story.
Ellen Power

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
When I started reading "Rules of Deception", I was immediately hooked. I wanted to know where the story was going to go and it felt like I was in for a great ride. Dr Johnathan Ransom is devastated when his wife is killed in a tragic skiing accident. However that evening he receives baggage checks in an envelope addressed to her, which leads him to a bag than contains another woman's clothing, the keys to a luxury Mercedes, an enormous wad of cash and a passport in an unfamiliar name but with his wife's photograph. Before he can even process this discovery, he finds himself a wanted man on the run - pursued by the police, but also by a mysterious assassin called The Ghost. There are multiple layers to the story and at least one major twist that completely took me by surprise. The story is very current and feels well researched.

The main problem with this book is that the plot tries too hard to be clever and thus becomes overly complicated and convoluted. There is more than one set of villains and keeping so many players juggled means that we don't spend enough time with Ransom, who is easily the most involving character. There's such a large cast of bland characters and I was always struggling to remember who they were and where they fitted in to the story. The plot also has some major plot holes that simply don't stand up to logic. Ultimately it all gets a bit silly. Instead of being gripped as the tension builds towards the climax, I found myself getting less and less interested.

This is a perfectly readable and mildly diverting thriller, but it's not as good as you think it's going to be when you start it.
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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Tom S. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the first book I've read by Christopher Reich, and it is very good. I was prompted to buy it by all the critics and famous authors who compare it to Ludlum, Follett, Forsyth, Trevanian, etc.--all my favorite writers of globe-trotting espionage. RULES OF DECEPTION closely follows the formula set down by those masters, with the idealistic doctor/mountain climber being drawn into a frightening, ever-growing conspiracy and racing the clock to find his enemies and beat them, with plenty of fights, chases, and surprise revelations along the way. I read the book in a matter of hours, and I think most thriller fans will, too.

My one reservation that keeps this from being a 5-star recommendation is the fact that RULES seems to resemble a lot of other big thrillers a bit too much--Reich never quite seems to make this material his own. He has clearly been "inspired" by EYE OF THE NEEDLE, DAY OF THE JACKAL, THE EIGER SANCTION, and the complete works of Robert Ludlum. But, hey, that's a small complaint from a reader who counts all those as faves. If you're looking for a fast, satisfying summer read along these lines, RULES follows the rules as well as any book I've read in a long time. Try it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jered B. Skousen on August 19, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved the first 2/3rds of the book (it was my first Christopher Reich read). Granted, the idea that the main character's wife was living the secret life of a spy (like "True Lies") was a stretch, but I was OK with it. (One day I want to find the person who lives a life of a spy, while in real life is holding down a significant position at an active non-profit...and whose spouse had no idea of the double-life).
We can tell that there are two sides--one wants to arm Iran with Nukes and kill a plane full of people, the other has an assassin killing the first group. But when it is revealed that these two battling groups are the Dept of Defense and the CIA, it loses all believability. Not a soul in these organizations would blow the whistle on such terrorist acts? A don't buy it.
Then the frosting on the cake--the leader of one of the groups is doing this because he converted to Christianity? "Like Christ suffered for people, he would suffer for all the hundreds he killed in the plane." Right (??)

Sorry--it was a good tale that was laughable by the end.
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38 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Christopher Reich's Rules of Deception is a stupendous read with one twist after another. Rules of Deception contains more suspense that the old movie serials of decades past and
delivers a great story to boot.

Without giving too much a way the protagonist Jonathan Ransom, one of those really nice guys who also happens to be a surgeon working with Doctors Without Borders is pursuing his passion of mountain climbing is the Alps with his wife, Emma. Mountain climbing has tons of risks and with this trip the odds are against Ransom; an avalanche sweeps Emma to her death. Badly shaken Ransom returns to his hotel only to find an envelope delivery awaiting his now dead wife with two claims tickets inside. Using these tickets he finds her secret luggage and the contents reveal that there was a lot more to Emma than he knew. What mayhem follows.

Don't judge this book until you've finished it. Reich provides us with a story that builds as it goes and in the end you'll be glad you stuck with the book. Jonathan eventually reveals himself to be quite the adventurer and engages in wild chases and the use of disguises as he eludes the international manhunt for him.

With characters like Emma's best friend Simone Noiret and Marcus von Daniken, head of the Swiss counterterrorism organization, the story is colorful and engaging. Reich, in the manner of Tom Clancy, is at ease with the incorporation of high tech gadgets into his story and this adds a lot to the suspense.

This is my first Christopher Reich's book but it won't be my last.

I highly recommend Rules of Deception.
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