cover image White Bone

White Bone

Ridley Pearson. Putnam, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-399-16375-3

In Pearson’s stirring fourth thriller featuring Rutherford Risk agents Grace Chu and John Knox (after 2014’s The Red Room), Graham Winston, a British client of Rutherford Risk, sends Chu to Kenya to investigate the theft of a large quantity of measles vaccine that he donated to a clinic. When Knox receives a coded text from Chu indicating that she’s in trouble, he heads to Kenya, where he encounters rampant corruption among local officials and police, ruthless gangs of poachers (smuggling elephant ivory and rhino horn), and vigilante game protectors. Meanwhile, someone attacks Chu, drugs her, and dumps her in bush country, where her presumed death will appear accidental. In his search for Chu, to whom he’s grown increasingly close, Knox has only questionable allies such as Bishoppe, an irrepressible youth who latched on to him upon his arrival at the Nairobi airport. Amid all the turmoil, Pearson highlights the very real threat of extinction faced by Kenya’s magnificent wildlife. [em]Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (July) [/em]