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Rules of Deception    by Christopher Reich order for
Rules of Deception
by Christopher Reich
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Open the first pages of Rules of Deception and hold on to your hat. The read is swift, mesmerizing, and thought-provoking with a large sense of what if?, and enough action to satisfy any thriller junkie. Clive Cussler says of the author, 'Christopher Reich is the master of the espionage thriller for the 21st century.' High praise, indeed.

While mountain climbing in the Swiss Alps, Dr. Jonathon Ransom, a surgeon for Doctors Without Borders, watches as his wife Emma plummets downhill with reckless abandon. He mourns her loss as he discovers that she was not the person he thought she was. Was she part of an espionage ring? For which side? And, most important of all, why? Was their eight-year marriage just a sham? Was she using his surgical skills to be posted in odd spots in the world, giving her access to men in power in other countries?

Through a quirk of circumstances, Jonathon kills two police officers and finds himself on the run, helped by a family friend. The plot becomes more and more gripping as Jonathon tries to evade possible capture and probably death, while attempting to make sense of his wife's deception.

Meanwhile, a possible world war is brewing with a self-declared monitor of God's word calling the shots. New weapons of mass destruction (sound familiar?) are being dusted off for annihilation and various departments of the U.S. government are busy killing each other. The reader almost needs a score card to separate the good guys (of whom there are not many) from the bad guys (of whom there are quite a few). Greed plays a big part here as does the idea of power.

Rules of Deception is a wonderful read, though it's also disturbing when one wonders how far from the truth all of the allegations really are. Don't miss it.

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