cover image Night Heron

Night Heron

Adam Brookes. Hachette/Redhook, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-39983-8

Brookes, a correspondent for BBC News in Washington, D.C., who was formerly based in China, takes readers deep inside the culture and daily routines of that country in his outstanding fiction debut. Li Huasheng (aka Peanut) has recently escaped from a remote Chinese labor camp after nearly 20 years of confinement for selling military secrets—a livelihood that he has now resumed with the help of one of his former conspirators who evaded capture. Meanwhile, Philip Mangan, a freelance British journalist recruited by his own country’s spies to serve as a messenger for Peanut, wants to sell a software key that would give the West access to China’s national security secrets, including information about troubles with its new nuclear missiles. Good chase scenes and tense dialogue, coupled with a convincing picture of what actually happens in the corridors of power, make Brookes a thriller writer to watch. [em]Author tour. Agent: Catherine Clarke, Felicity Bryan Associates. (May) [/em]