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From Barnes & NobleOur Review
From Cuba to Hong Kong
Fresh from a mission in Cuba, U.S. Rear Admiral Jake Grafton finds himself on what he expects to be a relatively uneventful mission in Chinese-controlled Hong Kong. His assignment there, to investigate possible ties between former comrade, software billionaire, and U.S. Consul General "Tiger" Cole and a group of political insurgents, seems so straightforward that he even brings his outspoken wife, Callie, with him to see the sights.
Jake's expectations are dashed when his associate, burglar extraordinaire Tommy Carmellini, retrieves a tape planted by the CIA from a Hong Kong businessman's office, even as said businessman's fresh corpse, discovered upon entry, enters the initial stages of rigor mortis. It turns out that the corpse, China Bob Chan, had ties to both a Hong Kong crime cartel and the anticommunist movement, as Callie discovers when Jake, unable to have the work done elsewhere, asks her to translate the tape. Although Callie is unable to understand the nuances of the recorded conversations, someone is afraid she might and thus kidnaps her, holding her for a ten-million-dollar ransom.
Jake's mission has now taken on a more personal flavor, and he tears through Hong Kong, waging a relentless, one-man war against her captors. In his search, he also uncovers information that explains the intrigue relating to the planned uprising in Hong Kong against the Chinese occupation forces. Jake comes to realize that the wide-reaching conspiracy, far more complex than anyone had imagined, has claimed the lives of numerous victims, the ranks of which may soon come to include his wife and Wu Tai Kwong, the leader of the rebels, also held for ransom by the same party.
Having never before read Coonts, I was pleasantly surprised by his surefooted storytelling, his larger-than-life characters, and his ability to juggle myriad elements in a complex plot. If this book's predecessors are anywhere near as good, it's a wonder to me that a Jake Grafton adventure has not yet made it to the big screen, as Coonts's writing style seems well suited to such an adaptation. Hong Kong is the kind of book that keeps you up way past your bedtime, furiously flipping pages to see how it all turns out. The action never stops; neither will your enjoyment.
Hank Wagner is a book reviewer for Cemetery Dance magazine and The Overlook Connection.