- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Sphere (22 May 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0751552488
- ISBN-13: 978-0751552485
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.5 x 24.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 546,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Night Heron Hardcover – 22 May 2014
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The best British spy novel debut in years (Jake Kerridge The Telegraph)
An intriguing, skilful and taut novel...elegantly plotted and with a piercing eye for detail (Daily Mail)
Debut of the month is Adam Brookes's accomplished Night Heron (The Sunday Times)
The BBC's former China correspondent joins the ranks of John le Carré and Frederick Forsyth with a laser-sharp Beijing spy thriller . . . Brookes arrives a full formed talent, with a complete mastery of the genre (Daily Express)
Night Heron reeks with verisimilitude in its settings and atmosphere, and is accompanied by a cleverly plotted action-filled story of Anglo-Chinese espionage (The Times)
Superior espionage (The Sun)
A page turner that takes the reader from China's far west to the streets of the fascinating Chinese capital, pulsing with power and danger (New York Times)
An outstanding first novel (Washington Post)
The pace is frenetic and Brookes does a wonderful job with both the high-tech world of cyber intelligence and survival on Beijing's gritty, smog-smothered streets. Highly recommended. (The Bookseller)
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 . . . 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. (Publishers Weekly)
Brookes, a one-time China correspondent for the BBC, knows this turf exceedingly well and translates that knowledge into a novel that is as strikingly different as it is thrilling . . . One of the best and most compulsively readable spy-fiction debuts in years. (Kirkus)
Night Heron is a fascinating portrait of the dangerous complexities of spying in a restricted country, the competing agendas driving international intelligence, and China's startlingly varied social realities. A must-read for fans of espionage and smart global fiction in general. (Booklist)
Engrossing and compelling (LA Review of Books)
Fans of the international espionage genre will inhale this fast tale in a few suspenseful breaths. Brookes uses multiple narrators-the spy, the engineer, the journalist, the agent, the boss-whose conflicting alliances tell the real story. (Library Journal)
This exciting thriller opens a rare window on the real China of today (Irish Independent)
Spine-tingling (APN Network)
The best spy novel so far this year . . . signals the start of what should be a very promising career in fictional spying. Combining the intrigue and complexity of the classic spy novel with contemporary themes and skilfully realised Chinese locations this is certainly an espionage novel for the 21st Century. (Sydney Morning Herald)
It's got all of the freshness of firsthand sense of place - Brookes helps us to feel and smell and taste . . . And it's got a convincing narrative drive that comes from a veteran newsman's long career in creating stories that make sense and matter. (NPR)
Fast-paced, intelligent, stimulating and action-packed (Lincoln Star Journal)
A prisoner on the run, with secrets the world would kill for... Read the award-nominated, utterly authentic and terrifyingly tense first book in Adam Brookes' groundbreaking thriller trilogy.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
This however is a truly worthy addition to the shelves of spy fiction enthusiasts and readers of thrillers alike. The plot, set in modern day China is credible, superbly paced and thoroughly exciting. All the characters are pitch perfect and I was up until 2am reading this to a finish as it gripped me completely.
I loved it and I can't wait for his writers next book. More please.
I gave up after page 60, I was just unable to get into the story and found the successful escape at the beginning to be completely unbelievable. Even the part where the escapee washes windows and toilets of a shop in order to use their bathroom is completely silly and unbelievable. If Mr. Brookes was as talented an author as he obviously is on his knowledge of China and the Chinese language that he is so enthusiastically writing on
almost every page he would be more successful....in my view
Peter James says on the cover "a thriller packed with tension"... there is more tension in a slack piece of string. (On principle Mr. James I shall await
for your next novel to be published in paperback...no more purchasing of your hardbacks for me...I'll wait !)
Finally, I am unable to comprehend why this debut novel has received so many 5 stars, together with comments such as "great tension, a tingler, a great debut, excellent spy story..etc etc...I am left with feelings that those comments are all from friends and relatives of Mr. Brookes!
What is most interesting about this spy thriller however is the nature of the informant. Peanut/Li Huasheng, code-name Night Heron, has helped the British Intelligence before, but it was 20 years ago. In he meantime he's been locked away in a "labour reform faculty" in the Qinghau desert. On escape he attempts to reopen his links with British Intelligence through a journalist in Beijing, Philip Mangan, with the offer of access to top secret missile information in return for getting him out of China. What Peanut doesn't know however is that a lot has changed in China and the world in the last 20 years, namely computer systems, mobile phones and other communications technology and with it the whole new world of cyber-espionage.
It's not just that technology now provides access to vast amounts of important information for people with the right connections, but it has also improved security and counter-espionage, with mobile tracking devices, camera surveillance and advanced warning systems against hacking and unauthorised access.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really good thriller, well researched and well written. 5 stars.Published 5 months ago by PHILIP LLOYD
I voted this my Book of the Year 2016. One of the best British spy novels I've read. Action-filled, brilliantly plotted, it had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Read morePublished 5 months ago by CJ Carver
this was an excellent thriller and a good page turner. My first Adam Brookes but I would read anotherPublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
I read reviews which compain about a lack of originality, but I enjoyed this book, if enjoyed is the right word for reading about the privations in a Chinese prison, and the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by G Taylor
Different take on the spy genre set in China. Interesting spread of characters but suffers a bit from not having one principal character upon which to focus, would have been... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Simon1971
Very nearly a 5 star book and the best I've read in a while - here's why
- intelligent plot and interesting locations
- well paced (when it mattered) and not too much... Read more
absolutely loved this book. reads much better than john le carre and Charles cummings.
a great storyline and hints at surveillance practice. very descriptive of china. Read more