A Chinese national working for an American-owned construction company is grabbed off the streets of Shanghai in broad daylight. His one-man security detail goes missing as well. Rutherford Risk, the company's international security contractor, specializes in negotiation for and recovery of kidnapped hostages. Private investigation is illegal in today's China. Operating within her borders is difficult at best: complex political situations and corrupt individuals combined with the intricacies of Chinese culture make such work anything but straightforward. The security company recruits two unique outsiders to do its bidding. Grace Chu is a forensic accountant hired to follow the money; John Knox is a civilian with unparalleled training in both combat and the street culture of Shanghai, brought in to support her. Chu's top-notch American education as well as her Chinese military service makes her an unassuming but effective operative, while Knox's take-no-prisoners attitude provides the street smarts and arm-twisting necessary to pursue the location of the hostages. Following the money trail leads to more complex ? and dangerous ? consequences than either Chu or Knox anticipated. Who is actually behind the kidnapping? More important, can Knox and Chu locate the two hostages ahead of the ransom deadline? Rich with the atmosphere of today's Shanghai in all its contradictory beauty, crackling with tension-filled suspense, The Risk Agent introduces us to two compelling, original characters ? and ushers in the start of a brilliant series.