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Rules of Deception (Jonathon Ransom series Book 1)
New York Times Bestseller
Dr. Jonathan Ransom, a surgeon for Doctors Without Borders, is climbing in the Swiss Alps with his wife, Emma, when she falls into a hidden crevasse and dies. Twenty-four hours later, Jonathan receives an envelope addressed to his wife containing two baggage-claim tickets. Puzzled, he journeys to a railway station only to find himself inexplicably attacked by the Swiss police. Suddenly forced on the run, Jonathan's only chance at survival lies in uncovering the devastating truth behind his wife's secret life.
Follow the Rules:
Don't miss the other thrillers in the series—Rules of Vengeance (in paperback) and Rules of Betrayal (in hardcover July 2010).
BONUS MATERIAL: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Christopher Reich's The Prince of Risk.
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 148 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 148 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 96 found the following review helpful:
Starts well, but the plot is too complicated and it all gets sillySep 21, 2008
By Julia Flyte
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.
81 of 88 found the following review helpful:
Following the "Rules"Jul 17, 2008
By Tom S.
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.
38 of 46 found the following review helpful:
You'll want to read Rules.....Jul 16, 2008
By Robert Busko
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.
17 of 19 found the following review helpful:
Disappointed with this OneAug 11, 2008
By Thriller Lover
RULES OF DECEPTION is the third novel I've read by Christopher Reich. I didn't care much for his prior efforts, THE PATRIOTS CLUB and THE FIRST BILLION, which I thought suffered from cardboard characterization and overly convoluted plotlines. Unfortunately, the same shortcomings are present in this follow up.
My major problem with RULES OF DECEPTION is the lack of a genuinely interesting protagonist. Characterization is not Reich's strong suit, and the hero of this novel, Jonathan Ransom, struck me as bland and colorless. This novel also contains far too many different characters, with Reich constantly shifting the point of view from one person to another. The end result is a novel with a large cast of two-dimensional characters, which is a recipe for a tedious read.
Reich's storyline contains some well written action scenes, but I found his political conspiracy plot too complicated for its own good. RULES OF DECEPTION has so many twists and turns and subplots that it was hard for me to keep track of what was going on. It doesn't help that this book becomes rather overblown and silly toward the end, once the nature of the conspiracy is revealed.
RULES OF DECEPTION has been heavily hyped, so your reaction to this novel may differ from mine. But if you place a high value on decent characterization and straightforward plotting, my guess is that you will find this novel to be a disappointment.
12 of 13 found the following review helpful:
Not believable, in any sense of the wordAug 19, 2009
By Jered B. Skousen
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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