In a North Korean Gulag, MI6 agent Roger Jones was suffering unimaginable torture, because of something he discovered during a routine mission concerning the illegal sale of restricted military satellite technology to the Chinese. Before his sudden, and in the age of détente and globalism, inexplicable disappearance in Shanghai, he left MI6 a message; he had found out something important and would report back the next day. It concerned a joint Chinese North Korean operation called Jieguan, involving the use of a satellite missile defence system. This was not the first disappearance of intelligence personnel from the West recently for no apparent reason. The question the head of MI6, Steven Bartholomew, asked himself was: “why, after all the Cold War had long since ended”. MI6, the CIA and the German BND set up a joint team to investigate Roger Jones disappearance and some illegal technology transfers deals in China, involving military satellite components. They discovered an ancient and powerful Chinese clan with a worldwide network of Triads and deep roots in the Chinese and North Korea industrial military establishments was about to launch a devastating, hazardous and far reaching operation involving North Korean nuclear missiles. Their aim is to gain political and financial control of the main Asian centres at the expense of the US and Europe. Only MI6 special agent Mike Sanders can stop them if he is able to escape captivity in North Korea, where he is being held by General Kim Young, a leading member of the clan.
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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite Mike Sanders is a semi-retired MI6 spy, training new recruits up in the Scottish hills, and glad to have left his dangerous operational role behind. Heidi Klusman is an investigative journalist due to arrive shortly in Edinburgh to spend some time with him. Their relationship is very close but they continue to lead separate lives, that is until they are once more dragged into the world of intrigue and espionage - she by the German BND and Mike by MI6 which has inexplicably lost their second operative in China over a very short period of time. Reluctant to become involved in espionage again, they are nevertheless lured into an operation which involves them in a highly dangerous attempt to counter a scheme hatched at the very top levels of the Chinese and North Korean military - a scheme which involves a secret international Tong network and which, if successful, could change the world order for ever. The Chinese Shadow Game by Stuart Craigie is a fast-moving, highly detailed thriller with the action moving at a breathless pace from Scotland to London, Shanghai, Pyongyang and the mountains of North Korea. It involves the British MI6, American CIA and German BND Intelligence services in an imaginative plot peppered with some very nasty villains. The Chinese Shadow Game has many interesting ideas and is written by an author obviously familiar with the countries and locations in which the story is set. The history and connections between Chinese and Korean families, together with the development of Tong organisations, were enlightening. Stuart Craigie has produced a thoughtful and original premise for this genre.