Set 120 years after the events of Tai-Pan, Ian Dunross is the latest in Dirk Struan's line to head Struan's, also known as the Noble House. To survive, Struan's always skates the financial edge, and Quillan Gornt, descendant of Dirk's enemy, Tyler Brock, is quite happy to push it over the edge.
Even though we meet many fine characters, from American businesswoman Casey Tcholok to smuggler's son Paul Choy, Hong Kong itself is really the star of this novel. Seeming almost anarchic at times, the colony (as it then was, the novel is set in 1963) and its people, Chinese and British, seem to worship one god, Money.
Clavell ties in references to his other novels--characters from King Rat show up and relive their wartime hatred, many of the characters discuss and live out the heritage of Tai-Pan, and a Japanese character mentions briefly the events of Shogun.
This is the sort of book that will keep you up reading until 4 a.m.
What I didn't like: I found the character of Peter Marlowe most annoying. He shows up all the time, acts like a know it all, and is really Clavell's way of writing himself into the book. Also, about six different times, it is mentioned that the U.S. is starting to get involved in Vietnam, and each time, a precient character chirps (or at least thinks) that the U.S. will regret it. Hindsight is 20/20, the novel was published in 1981.
A good read.