Such a rollercoaster of international intrigue!  Not sure why this great thriller has been under the radar so far this year?

Ex-Delta Force soldier Jack Ford is trying to put the past behind him. But when he receives a letter from a long lost love in China who he hasn’t spoken to for 30 years, claiming he has a daughter, he is compelled to find out the truth.

Move over James Bond, because in the past Jack was also an American spy working with his friend Peter at the time of the uprising in China that culminated in the atrocities of the Tiananmen Square massacre. The world famous picture of the young man bravely standing in front of the approaching tank to try and stop its progress was teched on all our minds. After rejecting his involvement with the intelligence services because of the Tank Man and the woman he thought he knew Jack has left the Chinese world of his past behind him.

Now he must return to uncover the truth. Also maybe to link with his old friend Peter. But no sooner has he landed in Singapore on route to China does the past catch up with him and he is left in ownership of a document which both the American and Chinese governments are chasing. Jack enters a situation where finding his daughter is linked to the triggering of a new world war between two superpowers.

This is a superb paced ride for readers. Trump is still President in the story and of course we all know how great the POTUS was at international diplomacy.  It appears the links with intelligence spies in both camps could cause disaster as both the Presidents of America and the past and new reforming President elect vie for control. The story ticks like the very bombs that threaten the world. This is also a clever review of China’s emergence not perhaps as far from the past as it would hope…”Chairman Mao….haunted his successors like Hamlet’s ghost.”

The author has great knowledge of Asia, describes the politics and the cultures well yet underlines the human cost of power where moments of decision making in small rooms decide the future of millions of people.

You laugh  (mostly of course at POTUS) but cry out in shock too with the duplicity of the people who are close to power yet are scheming to undermine it for their own ends. Jack is a new hero but will in the end depend upon those he knew closely or grows to love as time ticks on. The final dramatic end is perhaps a bit unbelievable but good to see beyond one American super hero to a cast of quieter reforming Chinese seeking also to make the world a better place.  As a personal read I enjoyed it greatly, loved the links with politics and as a thriller would make a great TV drama/film!  Book groups will like the adventure ride and the issues raised about globalisation although note UK makes absolutely no impact on the impending destruction of the world!

The author has written a crime series Inspector Singh Investigates and if they are as good as this stand alone they will be on my TBR list very soon!

Reviewed by Philipa Coughlan

Published by Black Thorn; Main edition (4 Mar. 2021)
Paperback, ISBN 978-1838851675