Sunday, 28 July 2013

CRIME THRILLER REVIEW: The Shanghai Factor - Charles McCarry

Release Date: 15/07/13
Publisher:  Head of Zeus


An American spy in China. Name: Unknown. Status: Sleeper. He's meant to be laying low, polishing his Mandarin and awaiting further instructions from Washington. But Shandhai is a difficult city to sleep in, especially when his nights are taken over by the seductive but enigmatic Mei - a woman with secrets he'd rather not hear. Then he is tasked with a delicate operation. Infiltrate the core of the Chinese intelligence service. Distinguish friend from foe. Report to a single contact at HQ. Trust no one. Tell no one. Pushed out into the cold, in a city of millions he's suddenly very, very alone. But in Shanghai city you're never truly alone. Faceless strangers linger in the shadows, watching your every move. No one is safe from the Guoanbu. Not even a spy with no name...


To be hoenst with you I was expecting something pretty solid in this spy thriller from Charles McCarry as I’ve loved a lotof the books that Head of Zeus have sent me, however whilst this was set up to be a cracking spy thriller set in China, it was a story that felt more like something written in the past rather than a modern story as I felt that the female characters were not only there as a distraction rather than characters in their own right.

They were flat, they were little more than a sexual diversion and to be honest it left me feeling more than flat at the overall book. Don’t get me wrong, there were some moments of brilliance within, the description worked wonderfully and when added to some of the quick twists did work well, however all round, I was left feeling more than a little underwhelmed at the overall book.

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