“Rules of Deception”

rules“Rules of deception.” By Christopher Reich is a non-stop thrill ride full of international intrigue and conspiracy. The deception begins with the cover. Look closely at the beautiful butterfly and you will see that there is more there. It is not a butterfly at all but a microscopic, intricate drone.

I met Christopher Reich at a book signing for his newest book “The Take” (which I loved and previously reviewed). I admitted to him that I had not read any of his previous books; to which he replied if I were to read only one of his other books (other than “The Take” which I had in my hand) I should read “Rules of deception.” So, I picked up a copy and had him sign it as well.

Jonathan Ransom is a surgeon with Doctors Without Borders, and his wife Emma works for them as well. While on a sky vacation in Switzerland, Emma is killed in a tragic climbing accident. Jonathan is devastated, traumatized, and alone. He seeks the help of Emma’s friend Simone; there are details to finalize, arrangements to be made, and Emma’s body to recover from the mountain.

Then, an unexpected package arrives for Emma containing a luggage claim check. What was this luggage and why did she even have other luggage? The deception has begun. When he retrieves the package, he finds a very expensive sweater, one he had admired while they were window-shopping together, one that was beyond their budget, and one that was not his size.

Jonathan is on the run from mysterious people, unknown things, and unidentified danger. The action is non-stop with twists and turns as Jonathan discovers that “everything is a cover… To everything and everyone, a disguise.”  National and international law enforcement gets involved because they believe Jonathan is part of a terrorist cell.

The characters are well developed, and the line between friend and foe is blurred to the point that it is impossible to tell the good guys from the bad guys. In fact, some take both sides.

The web gets deeper and more complicated on every page. “Dr. Ransom!” he yelled. “Stop. There’s nowhere for you to go. It was the officer from Ascona, the same frizzled cop he’d seen just a few minutes ago on the street. Jonathan ran.”

Vivid descriptions draw readers into the story. “Heat hung over the ancient city like a worn blanket. The unexpected temperatures had brought the people onto the street. The streets buzzed with a boisterous, defiant energy.

“Rules of Deception” is fast-paced and compelling. Page after page is filled with international intrigue and suspense. There are new revelations on every page, and Emma’s double life comes to a shocking conclusion. I absolutely could not put this book down. Christopher Reich’s advice was perfect; if you have not read any of his books, start with this one.