The Red Room: A Risk Agent Novel
Ridley Pearson has enjoyed bestseller status for a number of decades. He has provided his readers with intricately plotted thrillers that always keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat. Therefore, it is ironic that he has achieved his greatest acclaim for his work in the Young Adult genre, namely his Kingdom Keepers and Peter and the Starcatchers series, the latter of which was co-written with comedian and author Dave Barrry.
Simultaneous to the release of the final installment in the Kingdom Keepers series comes Pearson’s adult thriller offering, THE RED ROOM, his third Risk Agent novel following THE RISK AGENT and CHOKE POINT. John Knox, a former military contractor employee, and top-notch forensic accountant Grace Chu both work for a Risk Agent firm called Rutherford Risk. They spend much of the story apart working separately on different parts of the same case. What they are tasked with is possibly the most dangerous case they have ever been assigned.
"THE RED ROOM is engaging thriller fiction written by a master plotter, and I'm eager to see what’s next in the series."
Their handler is a mysterious gentleman called David "Sarge" Dulwich. The entire time Knox has been employed by Dulwich and Rutherford, he has never been privy to the secretive Red Room. This is the firm’s highly secure underground bunker where the most sensitive information and materials are kept.
When Knox is summoned to the Red Room by Dulwich, he is shown a series of surveillance photos depicting Knox dealing with a man who is allegedly a Middle Eastern arts dealer. This individual may actually be in the illegal arms trading business, and the fact that Knox is tied to him in any way is disturbing for him. Knox now must reconnect with this dealer and, posing as another underground arts dealer, entice him enough to infiltrate his illegal business.
Meanwhile, Chu is working to unravel their newest client’s international finances. To do this, she assumes a false identity to get closer to the situation. What transpires is Chu having her cover blown and being kidnapped by the enemy from which she was seeking to acquire information.
Knox now must not only keep his deep cover and complete his Middle East mission, he has to do whatever it takes to rescue Chu. The two make for an unusual pair, but they work well together, and the exchanges between them are engaging and apparently fun for Pearson to write. Placing Knox in precarious and highly dangerous situations is par for the course with him. However, this time the political ramifications are far-reaching and on the verge of exploding while taking down many good people in the process.
THE RED ROOM is engaging thriller fiction written by a master plotter, and I'm eager to see what’s next in the series. Rumor has it that Pearson is planning to visit Nairobi to investigate Somali terrorist groups. Stay tuned!
Reviewed by Ray Palen on June 27, 2014