Title: Chinese Take-out
Author: Ian Mathie
Genre: Historical fiction, Spy Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Content: PG-13 (war and mature themes, some sexual content/references)
I’m kicking myself for taking so long to read this book. I mean I have it in both ebook and paperback form, but hey, sometimes life gets in the way. The first thing that drew me to this book was the fact that it’s a work of fiction from an author who’s known for writing memoirs. The second thing that caught my eye was the amazing cover.
Chinese Take-out starts out seeming to be two stories running in parallel until it’s revealed later that there is more than one thing linking these two “cases” together. Yes, cases is important. Green, aka the Nose, is a “company man” who has been pulled away from his preferred assignment in China to deal with a domestic matter involving arms dealing. This is essentially an espionage thriller and if you still don’t know what “The Company” is, this may not be the book for you.
I could go into more detail about the plot to give you a big build up and still leave out the details, but I don’t want to. I want anyone who decides to pick this up to be just as surprised as I was. I will throw you a few bones just so you can see if you are truly interested. The story has: a cover-up, a rebel, a huge misunderstanding, a mentor/buddy theme, and of course spying. Also, the story takes place during the formation of The Peoples Republic of China, so seeing the characters use and try to understand technology that we’d find archaic was actually, kind of, amusing.
I loved the characters in this book. The story itself was told in such a matter-of-fact way, that the characters were the one thing you could form an emotional bond with. When these guys bounced from one mini-mission to the other, you were with them and rooting for them, not wanting to leave anyone behind. I won’t pretend this was an action packed story, but the weaving of clues and messages and secrets was riveting.
I’d say this book was written for an adult audience, but a teen with a thirst for espionage could totally get into this. This is probably a read mainly for the fellas, but hey- I loved it.
I give this book a 5.
This review has been posted to GoodReads.
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