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Jonathan Ransom Books In Order

Publication Order of Jonathan Ransom Books

Rules of Deception (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rules of Vengeance (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rules of Betrayal (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jonathan Ransom Trilogy

Jonathan Ransom is the main character in a series of thriller books by Christopher Reich. As a surgeon working in the harshest regions of the world, Jonathan finds himself entangled in a complex web of international intrigue due to his wife double life. Reich began his Jonathan Ransom trilogy in 2008 when Rules of Deception was published, and series concluded in 2010 with Rules of Betrayal.

Rules of Deception

Rules of Deception the first book in Jonathan Ransom trilogy is a non-stop thrill and action-packed story of international conspiracy. If you’re an avid reader of thriller books, you’ll notice that the deception begins right from the front cover of this novel. Carefully examine the beautiful butterfly, and your instincts will immediately tell you there more than meet the eye. Why?-because it isn’t a butterfly at all but a microscopic drone.
In the first few pages of Rules of Deception, we are introduced to a man named Jonathan Ransom a surgeon working with Doctors Without Borders. We are also introduced to the surgeon’s wife Emma who works with the doctors as well. Unfortunately for Jonathan, his wife dies in a fatal climbing accident. He is devastated, psychologically traumatized and lonely. He decides to get help from his wife’s best friend Simone- since there are arrangements to be made and some details to finalize and Emma’s body to be retrieved from the mountain.

Then out of the blues, a package for Emma arrives that contains a luggage claim check. Now the big question arises- what was this luggage and why did she have extra luggage?-now that where the real deception begins.

When Jonathan retrieves the package, he discovers an expensive sweater, one he deeply admired while they were out window shopping with his wife. Soon Jonathan finds himself on the run from unknown things, strange people and a danger that lurks around the corner. The action in Rules of Deception is non-stop with plenty of twists and turns, red herrings as Jonathan finally discovers that everything is a cover and everyone is a disguise. Both national and international authorities get involved because they solidly believe that he is a part of an international terrorist group.

The characters in the story a detailed and well-crafted while the line between a friend and an enemy is blurred to the point that it’s impossible for both Jonathan and the readers to tell the difference between the good and the bad guys. In fact, some of the characters take both sides. Jonathan’s entanglement in this terrorist conspiracy gets more complicated and deeper on every page turn.

Christopher Reich’s vivid descriptions draw every reader deep into the story. Overall, Rules of Deception is a compelling, fast-paced story with each page filled with suspense and international intrigue. There are new revelations on each page and Emma’s double life revelations will leave truly shocked.
It is a book that touches on somewhat complicated issues, a bit of politics from various countries, conflicts in Middle East countries, nuclear programs and bombs, almost secret government organizations, spies, where all are liars and turncoats thrive, and you can trust no one. It’s much like the Jason Bourne and James Bond films, perhaps, or Jeff Abbott.

The book reads like Ludlum or Dan Brown novel with very short and captivating chapters revolving from one character to the next. The readers get to see things happen simultaneously from three or four perspectives with a surprise thrown in between. The boogeyman is ever ready to sneak in and kill, but at times he keeps his distance such that we tend to forget about him.

Rules of Vengeance

You’d expect Jonathan Ransom books to follow the standard operating procedure of traditional thriller writing where the main character is often flawed and send to fight one or more adversaries, but that’s quite the opposite.

Reich has added some exciting twist to the traditional thriller writing formula by including characters that can’t be classified as good or bad. In Rules of Vengeance, the sequel to Rules of Deception, the author takes the “thought to be dead” Emma Ransom and adds another dozen intrigues to her character.
In the debut novel, it was revealed that Jonathan’s wife wasn’t the person everyone thought she was. She was an undercover agent working for a secretive United States agency. As Jonathan has his innocence about his wife stripped away in broad daylight, the readers were left as confused as Jonathan regarding Emma’s true identity and character.

Rules of Vengeance takes off from where the first book in the series with Jonathan and his wife Emma unable to communicate with each other because doing so would increase the chances of being found by her former clients and get killed.

While in London to attend a medical conference and convey about his work with African refugees, Jonathan meets the unexpected Emma. While she confesses to having missed him, Jonathan has suspicions about her real motive for the meeting, but his suspicions are soon confirmed when he follows her and watches her detonate a car bomb in London killing innocent civilians.

Jonathan is then arrested on the crime scene and charged as the person responsible but uses his mountaineering skills (introduced in the debut novel) to escape the police cells.

It’s at this point the book takes off, and action begins. The author’s descriptions of Jonathan adventures across Europe trying to find his wife is intriguing, with plenty of action as two beautifully fleshed out cops chase Jonathan and his wife. The book’s plot twists itself back and forth such that it’s impossible to anticipate the next move but maintains its consistency with the characters and the events.

The lack of easy conclusions for our hero and Emma’s backstory is what elevates this book above the traditional thrillers making it stick in your head days after you’ve put it down.

Just like with Len Deighton’s characters from Hook-Line-Sinker and Game-Set-Match trilogies, it’s never clear where Jonathan’s wife loyalties lie. Is she a double or triple agent or just a freelancer? Who knows? Perhaps not even the author himself. But what’s made clear in the last pages of Rules of Vengeance is that we have not heard the last from the two main characters, Emma and Jonathan.

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