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Rules of Vengeance

Reich, Christopher Author

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( 1,923 ratings by GoodReads )
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A riveting sequel to the New York Times bestseller Rules of Deception that confirms Christopher Reich as the master of the espionage thriller.

Months after foiling an attack on a commercial jetliner, Doctors Without Borders physician Jonathan Ransom is working under an assumed name in a remote corner of Africa while his wife, Emma, desperate to escape the wrath of Division, the secret American intelligence agency she betrayed, has vanished into the netherworld of international espionage. Both look forward to sharing a stolen weekend in London—until an ambush on a convoy of limousines turns their romantic rendezvous into a terrorist bloodbath.

In the aftermath, Emma disappears and Jonathan is apprehended by the police and threatened with life imprisonment unless he helps secure his wife’s capture. Faced with an impossible decision, Jonathan makes a daring escape. On the run, he realizes that his only option is to become a spy himself in order to track down Emma and discover the true nature of the conspiracy she appears to be masterminding. In the process, Jonathan begins to realize that all along he’s been a pawn in a high-stakes game of international intrigue and one-upsmanship far beyond his imagining.

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Review:

Vince Flynn Reviews Rules of Vengeance

Vince Flynn is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of nine previous thrillers, including Consent to Kill, Act of Treason, and Protect and Defend. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and three children. Read his guest review of Christopher Reich's Rules of Vengeance:

Last summer, before I picked up Christopher Reich’s Rules of Deception, I’d heard it was the kind of smart, high-octane international thriller that would take me back to tales of espionage and political intrigue written by the masters—like Frederick Forsyth, Ken Follett, and Robert Ludlum. Those books were propulsive mixes of fact and fiction, set in a combustible, all-too-real world where peace balanced on a razor’s edge and nuclear annihilation was a single bullet away. The best of them, like Forsyth’s The Fourth Protocol and Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity, left you wondering if they might, in fact, be true. Might something like this really happen?

Then came the 1990’s. The Iron Curtain fell. Russia imploded. And Japan suffered a severe economic crisis. The world was left with America as its sole superpower. The bomb had been defused. We felt safe. And so ended the domination of international espionage blockbusters on the bestseller lists.

Along came Rules of Deception. Was it really a return to the big blockbuster of the 70’s and 80’s? Critics certainly were embracing it with gusto. So it was with some excitement and no small amount of skepticism that I picked up the book. The story started like a rocket and picked up speed from there. By page 20, I knew the critics had gotten it right. Rules of Deception was the very definition of a blockbuster: a lone, intrepid hero battling immense odds to save the world from a cataclysmic battle while also regaining the love of a fallen woman.

Now, Reich gives us Rules of Vengeance. Sequels are rarely as good as the original, so again, I was skeptical. And yet, Rules of Vengeance turns out to be that rare exception—where the novel not only stands up to its predecessor, but actually takes the story and characters in new—and completely surprising—directions. Again we meet Dr. Jonathan Ransom, a surgeon for Doctors Without Borders. The story begins with his arrival in London to deliver an address at a prestigious international medical conference, and it takes off from there at mach speed, offering more twists than the Monaco Grand Prix. I’m not going to give away any of the unexpected plot turns (and there are many), but I will say that once again, Ransom quickly finds himself in trouble not of his own making. And, once again, he is forced to maneuver between the good guys and the bad guys in order to figure out just what he’s been pulled into, and then make sure that no one else suffers because of it. The stakes are sky high. The locales are exotic. The plot is ripped from tomorrow’s headlines and Reich controls the story with a deft hand from beginning to end.

What’s particularly appealing about Jonathan Ransom is he is not a spy or a trained assassin. He is, in fact, the opposite: a doctor who has devoted his life to helping others—a loner working outside political boundaries who exemplifies the best in us all. But like each of us, he has a dark side that is both frightening and compelling. You do not want to make this man angry.

As for Christopher Reich, he—like Ransom—also may not be a trained spy or assassin (at least not to the best of my knowledge). But he certainly does manipulate the twists, summon the adrenaline, and create a landscape of thrills that can only leave readers with one lasting impression: Chris Reich is the real deal. —Vince Flynn

(Photo © Peter Hurley)

About the Author:

CHRISTOPHER REICH is the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Deception, Numbered Account, and The Patriots Club, which won the International Thiller Writers award for best novel in 2006. He lives in California with his family.

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