Rules of Deception Jonathan Ransom, an ordinary American guy plunked into a shadowy world of international intrigue, has all the makings of a Hitchcock hero. But the protagonist… Rules of Deception Jonathan Ransom, an ordinary American guy plunked into a shadowy world of international intrigue, has all the makings of a Hitchcock hero. But the protagonist… 2008-07-15 Fiction Mystery and Thriller Doubleday
Book Review

Rules of Deception (2008)

Rules of Deception | HELD BY RANSOM Christopher Reich introduces a captivating character tailor-made for international intrigue in his thriller Rules of Deception
HELD BY RANSOM Christopher Reich introduces a captivating character tailor-made for international intrigue in his thriller Rules of Deception
EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Jul 15, 2008; Writer: Christopher Reich; Genres: Fiction, Mystery and Thriller; Publisher: Doubleday

Jonathan Ransom, an ordinary American guy plunked into a shadowy world of international intrigue, has all the makings of a Hitchcock hero. But the protagonist of Christopher Reich's Rules of Deception also has a skill set even Jason Bourne might envy: He's a world-class mountaineer, a trained surgeon who's worked in various danger hot spots for Doctors Without Borders, and a rebel with a stubborn tendency to operate independently.

The action kicks off in the Swiss Alps, where Ransom and his do-gooder British wife, Emma, are climbing as a blizzard blows in. As they attempt to ski to safety, Emma falls into a deep crevasse and perishes. The next day, Ransom receives an envelope addressed to Emma containing baggage-claim tickets — which soon leads him on a deadly chase involving terrorists, law enforcement, operatives for various foreign governments, and a growing snow mound of corpses. So much for a mourning period.

Propelled to investigate Emma's mysterious past — and to thwart an imminent attack on a jet flying in to a conference of A-list politicos in Davos — Ransom emerges as a resourceful secret agent. The villains, who range from a lone-wolf Salvadoran-born assassin to an Air Force hero-turned-murderous religious zealot, are a comparative letdown. (Why do writers seem to think that you can't believe in both Jesus and the U.S. Constitution?) But Ransom himself is a compelling creation, and Reich concocts an elaborate, appealingly twisty plot to introduce him. B+

Originally posted Jul 11, 2008 Published in issue #1002 Jul 18, 2008 Order article reprints
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