The Glorious East Wind

K. G. E. Konkel, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $18.95 (284p) ISBN 978-0-07-045005-9
Konkel's experience as inspector in the Royal Hong Kong Police helps set the scene in this fairly proficient first novel, even if the plot gets a bit murky. The hero, if there is one, is young Inspector David Andrews, under a cloud since the suicide of his friend Williams, supposedly a ``bent'' copper. Andrews tries to probe Williams's last days with prostitute Mei Ling, even as a whirlwind of unrest disrupts the tenor of life in Hong Kong. A tramp steamer, Glorious East Wind , is blown up in the harbor and riots break out against the ``foreign devils.'' Drugs are involved, as is a secret deal to cede valuable waterfront property to China. A wide variety of characters--the Colony's governor, police commissioner, the head of Special Branch, the top Red spy, a Triad chief, English and Chinese industrialists--play a mysterious game of kickbacks (``tea money'') and power. The Crown Colony, due to return to China in 1997, is seized by paroxysms of violence as the few honest police officials try to follow a complicated trail. After much bloodshed, the ending is bleakly cynical. While the colorful background--a Chinese funeral, slum-life--is fascinating, Konkel's prose is sometimes flat and cliched. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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