As 1997 approaches, England's prime minister learns of a secret document signed by Mao Tse-tung thatcould delay the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong for an additional 100 years. The British hire formerterrorist Sean Dillon to keep the document from coming to light, before parties in Hong Kong retrieveit and destroy the balance of world power.
Having turned former IRA terrorist Sean Dillon into a hero in Thunder Point , Higgins refines his portrait of that deadly little man even further here by allowing him to acquire almost mystical kung-fu skills. This latest thriller opens with a prologue set in Chungking, 1944, during which Mao Zedong and Lord Louis Mountbatten sign the mysterious Chungking Covenant--a promise by Mao to extend the treaty giving Britain control of Hong Kong by 100 years. With Hong Kong due to be returned to China in 1997, the existence of such an agreement could destroy delicate international relationships. One copy of this vital document may still exist, supposedly hidden in a Scottish castle known as Loch Dhu (``Place of Dark Waters''). American billionaire Carl Morgan, determined to locate the document so that he and his Mafia associates might have leverage to protect their operations in Hong Kong, takes up residence in the castle with Asta, his stepdaughter. On the scene to foil their designs are Dillon, Brigadier Charles Ferguson and his Chief Inspector, Hannah Bernstein. Following a path from the castle to a villa in Sicily to a final confrontation in London, the search leaves a bloody trail. Unfortunately, revelation of the novel's most duplicitous villain will come as no surprise to most readers. Nevertheless, Higgins compensates for a less than elegant style with his signature unrelenting pace. BOMC main selection. (Mar . ) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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July 01, 1995
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