Top positive review
Wheels within wheels...
on 26 April 2015
A sleeper agent in deep cover meets a Chinese girl he assumes to be an enemy honeytrap, but who may actually be a passing Chinese girl. This sort of double description applies to most of the characters, in a le Carré-esque series of wheels within wheels, friends turn out to be enemies who are really working for other friends.
There’s some lovely stuff in here about modern tradecraft (McCarry claims to be ex-CIA), and comments like “demonstrative suspicion is out of fashion,” displaying a deep understanding of the way things are in China at the moment. Also some top tips, such as the use of “archaic” punctuation as a clue that the following sentence will be true. If at times, the motivations of the bad guys seemed ludicrously intricate, one only had to wait a chapter to discover that this was yet another bluff. I got to the end still not sure what happened – the actual espionage was going on an entire continent away, in Cairo, while the leading man was busy not-doing anything somewhere else.