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White Bone


White Bone

African elephants are an extremely vulnerable species. This is due to the fact that parts of their body, mainly their tusks, are sold at top dollar by poachers. The ivory tusks, sometimes referred to as white bone, are sold throughout the world by merciless and highly dangerous people who are not to be messed with and become extremely territorial when threatened.

Thus the title of Ridley Pearson's latest thriller --- WHITE BONE, a novel set mostly in Kenya and centered on the corrupt underbelly that resides within this dangerous area. It is here where Risk Agent John Knox is called. Knox is no slouch, having experience as a military contractor, but he may be in over his head with this new case.

"WHITE BONE is quite a departure from his YA titles, but it allows Pearson to spread his wings and dive into some serious issues that fill the pages of this taut thriller."

When Knox’s partner, Grace Chu, goes missing while on an undercover assignment, she is able to get a distress call of help out to him. Knox heads directly into Kenya to locate and save her, but it won't be that simple. Grace had been investigating how one million Euros of AIDS vaccine went missing, and this put her in the direct path of some dangerous individuals in the Kenyan underworld who also deal heavily in the animal poaching trade.  What this means is a face-off with deadly Al-Shaabab militants.

Knox and Grace work for the Rutherford Risk firm, which typically focuses on the global import/export world, specifically crafts. That is why Grace now finds herself way out of her element as her life is at risk when her cover is blown. The lethal Kenyan underworld has been able to all but shut out any outside syndicates --- including the Chinese --- in their efforts to corner the market in the illegal ivory trade. Much of WHITE BONE depicts Grace's escape and flight into the jungles of Kenya to avoid being captured and most surely killed by these criminals.

Knox now must put together the pieces of how Grace's original assignment crossed paths with a missing cache of elephant tusks. He has little success getting aid from her handlers in Kenya and realizes he has to take his fight directly into the heart of the Kenyan underworld. Knox surrounds himself with a few allies but finds it difficult to trust anyone in this very turbulent and violent country.

The action and tension in WHITE BONE never lets up. As Grace continues to flee and Knox digs deeper into the path of bread crumbs she left behind, we are taken into a literal heart of darkness where there may be no escape. Knox crosses paths with both criminals and corrupt officials, and finds this foreign landscape to be the most challenging he has ever faced. Readers will need to hold on tight right up until the end.

Ridley Pearson has become not only a prolific writer, but also one who simultaneously pens novels for several different audiences. WHITE BONE is the fourth installment in his Risk Agent series. He also has written dozens of thrillers, with the Lou Boldt series being the best. YA readers will know him as the author of the Peter and the Starcatchers series that he penned with humorist Dave Barry and the Walt Disney World/Disneyland-inspired Kingdom Keepers series. He has seen PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS adapted into a Broadway play, and there is not much higher praise you can receive for your work.

WHITE BONE is quite a departure from his YA titles, but it allows Pearson to spread his wings and dive into some serious issues that fill the pages of this taut thriller.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on July 22, 2016

White Bone
by Ridley Pearson

  • Publication Date: June 27, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0399185372
  • ISBN-13: 9780399185373