The Shanghai Factor

Charles McCarry. Atlantic/Grove/Mysterious, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2127-1
Meticulous, intelligent prose is the real star of this excellent espionage thriller from former CIA operations officer McCarry (Christopher’s Ghosts), who focuses more on the psychological challenges faced by street-level agents and those running the operations than on physical action. One day on a Shanghai road, the unnamed 29-year-old narrator is riding his bicycle when a beautiful young Chinese woman, Mei, runs into him on her bike. Is it an accident? Our hero, “a rookie spook” working as a sleeper for the agency he calls Headquarters, immediately pegs Mei as an agent for the Chinese Ministry of State Security, but that doesn’t stop him from becoming her lover for the next two years. Eventually, his boss, the head of his agency’s counterintelligence division, calls him back to Washington, D.C., and gives him the assignment of building a network of Chinese spies drawn from the privileged class of party leaders’ children. Back in China, the narrator takes a job with a mysterious, imperious industrialist, Chen Qi, until he’s fired and assigned to Headquarters in Washington. While not much happens by the standard of your average spy novel and events get wrapped up quickly at the end, this book is a must-read for genre aficionados and McCarry’s many fans. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/01/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
Show other formats
Ebook - 181 pages - 978-1-78185-508-9
Audio Product - 1 pages - 978-1-62231-014-2
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-1-78185-510-2
Hardcover - 292 pages - 978-1-78185-509-6
Hardcover - 292 pages - 978-1-78185-511-9
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-0-8021-2128-8
Compact Disc - 555 pages - 978-1-62231-013-5
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.