When they arrive, things get hot pretty fast. In addition to Jake's old friend (now a dot-com billionaire) there are various spies of dubious loyalties, an even more doubtful smuggler, and the usual Communist monsters running things. Coonts' politics are rather apparent (the fictional Democrat President has been bought off by the Communist leadership, and the Communists themselves are scum) and may be offensive to some people, or at least a bit annoying. His action sequences are fun, though I will say that the bit with the combat robots was a bit much.
Overall I enjoyed the book, though, and would recommend it.
My biggest criticism has to do with the way Jake Grafton responds to the kidnapping of his wife Callie by Hong Kong crime boss Sonny Wong. Jake knows that Sonny has Callie locked up somewhere, is having her tortured, and probably intends to kill her when he gets the information he wants and/or gets the ransom he is demanding.
So what does Jake do? He stages a raid on Sonny's restaurant, shooting a guard dead in the process. Jake then confronts Sonny and finishes up by setting fire to Sonny's restaurant. But does he demand his wife released here and now? No! Jake makes various threats to Sonny about what he'll do if Callie is harmed and then walks away!
I found that action so crazy that I spent most of the rest of the book wondering how Jake could be so dumb as to act like that. As a small redeeming feature even Jake wonders how he was so dumb: 100 pages later he's thinking of himself in the third person and saying, "He had his chance last night. He should have stuck his revolver up Wong's nose and told him he was going to blow his f***ing head off if he didn't produce Callie in a quarter of an hour."
Of course Jake eventually learns where Callie is being held captive and stages another raid in which he manages to free her. But still, how could he have been so dumb (and so uncaring?) to not exploit his first chance to get Callie freed?
I also found it somewhat problematic that the "Sergeant York" fighting robots were so advanced. This book is supposed to be a techno-thriller, but these robots were so intelligent and so powerful that it was more like science fiction.Read more ›
Jan Morris's non-fiction *Hong Kong* gives an extremely absorbing account of the place - especially detailed on the tragic, sad history of the millions of Chinese refugees who fled China in the 1950s to the 70s to the safety of British rule in Hong Kong - these are the people who make up Hong Kong today. Great material on the British, too.Read more ›