A lone man, Peanut, escapes a labor camp in the dead of night, fleeing across the winter desert of north-west China. Read more...
A lone man, Peanut, escapes a labor camp in the dead of night, fleeing across the winter desert of north-west China.
Two decades earlier, he was a spy for the British; now Peanut must disappear on Beijing's surveillance-blanketed streets. Desperate and ruthless, he reaches out to his one-time MI6 paymasters via crusading journalist Philip Mangan, offering military secrets in return for extraction.
But the secrets prove more valuable than Peanut or Mangan could ever have known... and not only to the British.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-03-10
- Reviewer: Staff
Brookes, a correspondent for BBC News in Washington, D.C., who was formerly based in China, takes readers deep inside the culture and daily routines of that country in his outstanding fiction debut. Li Huasheng (aka Peanut) has recently escaped from a remote Chinese labor camp after nearly 20 years of confinement for selling military secrets—a livelihood that he has now resumed with the help of one of his former conspirators who evaded capture. Meanwhile, Philip Mangan, a freelance British journalist recruited by his own country’s spies to serve as a messenger for Peanut, wants to sell a software key that would give the West access to China’s national security secrets, including information about troubles with its new nuclear missiles. Good chase scenes and tense dialogue, coupled with a convincing picture of what actually happens in the corridors of power, make Brookes a thriller writer to watch. Author tour. Agent: Catherine Clarke, Felicity Bryan Associates. (May)