If you like good mild suspense, in any genre, I
suggest taking a look at this gripping tale of international espionage, as an
ambitious young MI6 spook tracks a former British agent across Hong Kong, China
and Tibet for reasons she is not privy to.
As well as being an engaging political thriller which draws heavily from
the reality of Chinese atrocities against the monks of Tibet, there is ample
mystery in the tale and enough moral ambiguity in the behaviour and respective
backstories of the two main characters to infuse a genuine sense of menace. Characters are well developed, with a well-crafted
contrast between their machine-like duty and genuinely endearing humanity; quite
frankly, they are ruthlessly efficient and likeable in equal measure – a definite
strength in the author’s style.
This is a tremendously well-written book by
Parris; I really like the author’s easy-going style and timing. Articulate and well educated, she clearly knows
the subject of Chinese-Tibetan politics and Buddhist culture, and she has seamlessly
interwoven this knowledge with a cat and mouse tale of British intelligence agents
pitting their wits against each other and their collective foes. Add to this an intriguing family backstory,
which is not incidental but directly driving events, and you have the grand sum
of a well-considered and superbly accomplished book. Whilst entertaining, this isn’t an action
thriller, despite its exotic locations and grand scale settings; it is a comfortably
paced and simply constructed story-based tale, which I recommend highly for a relaxing
couple of evenings or a Sunday afternoon.
I must admit that I was of the belief that the
book was going to go in a particular direction, and I was thankfully relieved
that it didn’t. This reinforced to me
that Parris is a genuinely professional author, and this book modestly displays
its own definitive quality without the need for attention, fanfare or showboating. It is also ultimately satisfying, in a way
which stands alone yet leaves enough dangling to promise a superior, decent series;
I do hope to read more from Parris soon.
In : Book Reviews