Sunday, March 29, 2009

Darkness Under Heaven-F.J. Chase

Darkness Under Heaven
F.J. Chase
Mira, May 2009, $7.99
ISBN 9780778326946

Concerned for the safety of foreign VIP visitors attending a conference in China, the government hires American security expert Peter Avakian to provide personal security to the international attendees. At the same time, the U.S. government hires Avakian and physician Dr. Judy Rose, who has become an espionage agent, to help obtain the release of an American gymnast incarnated in Beijing on the charge of shoplifting.

However, the worst case scenario occurs when someone assassinates the Taiwanese president. Three Chinese soldiers attack Avakian, who kills them. Judy and Peter are in trouble as they know the Chinese government plans to arrest them if they are not killed. Forced to flee Beijing, their chances of getting out of the city let alone the country alive is slim to none.

The key to this exciting action-packed thriller is China as seen through foreigners on the run. Avakian is a terrific hero who keeps the story line focused while he and Dr. Rose are called terrorists by the Communist government, which will have readers pondering over who defines a terrorist and what the parameters are. Fans will enjoy Avakian’s tour of Beijing and beyond as escape seems almost impossible.

Harriet Klausner