Risk Agent, by Ridley Pearson is a very interesting thriller/espionage story. It pairs a male American ex-military (or as good as) with a female Chinese accountant (and ex-military officer) to track down two kidnap victims and important financial information belonging to an American company operating in China.
The chinese setting and cultural differences make for an interesting backdrop. The story is layered like an onion with each layer pulled back only to reveal another mystery. The protagonists are developed nicely and easy to root for. They function well as a team in spite of, or perhaps because of, their cultural differences. There are a number of less developed secondary characters whose motives are harder to fathom, but they keep the story spinning in unpredictable directions.
There are a number of good action sequences but this book is more espionage and suspense than high octane thriller. Pearson does a good job of keeping you engaged and thinking, trying to unravel the mystery as clues are uncovered. Motives are complicated and trust hard to earn. The story concludes nicely, wrapping up all the major storylines while still leaving an opening to continue following these characters in future novels.
This is a well-written and interesting book, but not a pulse-pounding one. The action moves forward steadily, but never really builds to a crescendo. If your taste in thrillers runs more to the espionage side than the action side, you will likely enjoy this book.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book.