@@@@ (4 out of 5)
“Professor Wang Kaixuan emerged from the waters of the South China Sea shortly before dawn,” and so begins this well-constructed tale of high-stakes espionage, betrayal, and unforeseen consequences set in modern-day China. The story revolves around an improbably capable young MI6 agent, his flamboyant CIA counterpart, the young woman they both lust after, and a right-wing Washington cabal and the corporation that does its bidding. The book is well-researched, cogently written, and expertly plotted. If your taste runs to spy thrillers, this is one of the best of recent years. Cumming is sometimes referred to as the successor to John Le Carre, but I’d like to see him write about a more believable protagonist before I go along with that judgment.