Hong Kong, China

Ralph Arnote, Author
Ralph Arnote, Author Forge $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-86097-4
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Ebook - 369 pages - 978-1-4668-0169-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 369 pages - 978-0-8125-4289-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8125-4976-8
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What will happen in Hong Kong when, on July 1, 1997, after 150 years of British rule, the People's Republic of China assumes control of the Crown Colony? That's the question energizing Arnote's new novel, a stylish if evanescent financial thriller that's his first hardcover after several paperback mysteries (Evil's Fancy, etc.). Arnote explores the impending odd-couple marriage of communism and capitalism through a large cast of characters. Davy Wong, young activist hero of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest, is provided refuge in the island-city from evil Gen. Liu Wing of the People's Liberation Army by world-famous mega-billionaire Brandon Poole, scion of a legendary British line of Hong Kong entrepreneurs. Elsewhere in Hong Kong, New York financial analyst Lacy Locke, who has come to Asia to survey candidate corporations for her company's Pacific Rim mutual fund, meets Dutch fashion tycoon Claude Van Hooten and his exotic assistant, the sensual Moia Hsu, whose father is in the Trade Ministry in Beijing. Moia once had an affair with Liu Wing; now her former but still jealous lover is conspiring to ruin Van Hooten's company, Phuket Color. At the same time, Poole, who's possessed of the expertise and logistical machinery to industrialize China, has plans to buy Phuket Color and also to woo the lovely Lacy away from her philandering New York TV-anchor husband. Colorful cameo characters--including a sexy rock singer, a gay male model and a corrupt police superintendent--contribute to the action, played out against the well-evoked, exotic scenery of Hong Kong. There's adventure here as well as romance, but this enjoyably lightweight entertainment fails to face squarely the heavyweight question that looms over it. Author tour. (Sept.)
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