Black Dragon

Christopher Hyde, Author
Christopher Hyde, Author William Morrow & Company $20 (272p) ISBN 978-0-688-10897-7
Reviewed on: 06/01/1992
Release date: 06/01/1992
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-71878-8
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When Gen. William Sloane Hawkesworth, senior military adviser to the president's drug czar, turns up murdered on a senator's yacht following an apparent opium spree, the Defense Intelligence Agency wants a quick and quiet cover-up, and brings Col. Phillip Dane out of semi-retirement to assess the affair. Dane stumbles into a minefield of corrupt intelligence dealings stretching back to WW II, when the now-powerful alliance between certain off-the-book military operatives and one Chinese crime syndicate drew first blood. Hyde ( Hard Target ) exhaustively documents the corporate structure of the syndicate, called Black Dragon, and the deadly machinations fueling the transition from one Shan Chu, or Dragon Head, to his surprise successor. Compensating for the absence of dramatic complexity in the characters are their meticulously supplied histories, as well as the paranoia suffusing each of the ardently detailed scenes. Hyde's occasional descriptions of graphic sex, for example, are bland compared with those of the movement of laundry on an ocean liner or the installation of an offshore intelligence network on a Caribbean cay. His dark, stately style suits his characters well, and the sheer multitude of pieces he fits into his puzzle inspires awe. (June)
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