The premise is plausible enough - an ageing British ex-POW wants to get even with his one-time Japanese captor. On his tail is MI6 secret service agent Sam Packer.
The ex-POW, Perry Harrison, is well-drawn character. He speaks directly to the reader through his 'autobiography', a fake book-ina-book that the hero Packer refers to. You get to understand Perry's motives and learn about his strange past.
Unfortunately, the hero Packer is one-dimensional clche of a character. He goes after pretty girls, has no regard for his own safety, is loyal to his country, doubts his boss. All the usual stuff.
Archer is at his best when the action finally gets to Burma. He's at his worst in the lengthy build up (two thirds of thebook) to this point. I mean, we know the POW is going to take a crack at the Jap in Burma. The clue is in the book's name. So why waste time with the detective wondering whether the POW really has it in him to do it? I don't buy a book called the Burma Legacy to read about Ealing Broadway in London.
Archer is at his worst in the book's dull leaden sex scenes. They should never let him write one again. But the really strange thing is he
sets up - then totally blows - a golden opportunity to subvert the standard detective sex scene. A needy, unattractive female character holds a vital clue but she wants Sam Packer to sleep with her before she'll give him it. There could have been a great cringe-making sex scene where the reluctant hero is forced to bed a fat spotty unnattractive girl. But no, Packer makes an excuse about being HIV positive and gets the information off the girl anyway. Which makes this reader wonder why he bothered with setting up this female character in the first place, as she does very little else to forward the plot.