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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized0 Comments

Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Year: 2008 (ARC)
ISBN: 0385524064
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars

Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich is one of those books that has a lot of promise based solely on the book description but then never really lives up to it. It starts in Switzerland with Jonathan Ransom and his wife climbing up a mountain. During this climb they hit a storm and Ransom’s wife ends up dying. A short time after the accident Ransom receives baggage claim tags that were meant for his wife. Curious he travels to the train station to pick up the bags and ends up getting attacked by two cops. What follows next is an impossible series of events that stretches believability and relies heavily on coincidence as Ransom soon finds himself deep in a plot to incite a major world crisis.

Most espionage type novels are like spiderwebs in that there are many strands that weave together in order to make a solid plot. Rules of Deception was more like the spokes of a wheel instead of a web. There were 3 main story arcs at the start of this book and it took longer than it should before any of these story lines started to cross. As a reader you knew that they were all eventually merge into the core but the author just drew it out. Then when the arcs did start to mesh it was done sloppily. Almost as if the author realized that he was beginning to run out of time and had to hurry things along.

Overall this was a tough book for me to read not because its subject matter but because I just never could get into the story. First there was the slow build and merge of the major stories and then mixed in with this were these asides in which the author would cut away from the ‘action’ to other more distant things going on. These distant events never really added much to the overall story and only served to distract me from the story. In the end I struggled to finish this book and figured out the big mystery long before the big reveal. This is the first time that I’ve read this author and I am not in a hurry to pick up another book by him. This also is not a book that I would recommend to others. Its a slow read and just fails to deliver on all of its promise.