While I really enjoy television shows that tell spy stories (Alias, Chuck, The Americans), I very rarely read spy novels. They tend, I’ve found, to be long and tedious: covert action that can be carried out fairly quickly and clearly on screen often takes many pages to describe in print. But I’ve thoroughly enjoyed two spy novels penned by former BBC Beijing correspondent Adam Brookes, who knows how to keep the pages turning. Start with Night Heron (2014), then move on to the recently released Spy Games, which is the subject of my LA Review of Books China Blog post this week:
Spy Games, the second volume in what I believe will be a trilogy, finds Mangan in Ethiopia, trying his best to lie low and stay out of trouble. But when he’s approached by a Chinese man who calls himself “Rocky” and slips him classified documents, the temptation is irresistible, and Mangan dives back into the intelligence world. While in Night Heron Mangan unwillingly got drawn into the action, Spy Games sees him making the choice to get more deeply involved. Guided by his handler, soldier-turned-agent Trish Patterson, and her boss, Valentina Hopko, Mangan follows Rocky down the rabbit hole.
Read the rest of the post here.