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Publisher's Summary

A lone man, Peanut, escapes a labour camp in the dead of night, fleeing across the winter desert of northwest China. Two decades earlier, he was a spy for the British; now Peanut must disappear on Beijing's surveillance-blanketed streets. Desperate and ruthless, he reaches out to his one-time MI6 paymasters via crusading journalist Philip Mangan, offering military secrets in return for extraction. But the secrets prove more valuable than Peanut or Mangan could ever have known... and not only to the British.
Uncover a world of international secrets in the utterly authentic, unbearably tense opening novel in a landmark thriller trilogy by BBC Foreign Correspondent Adam Brookes.
©2014 Adam Brookes (P)2014 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

" 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)
"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)
"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)
"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)
"Engrossing and compelling" ( LA Review of Books)
"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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By A. Lewis on 08-31-16

Failed to sustain my interest

What did you like best about Night Heron? What did you like least?

There were some enthralling set-pieces (the initial escape being one of them) but by half-way through the book I still didn't care enough about any of the characters to want to find out what was going to happen next. I found all of the main characters in the story to be both non-sympathetic (not necessarily a problem by itself) and non-empathetic - I just never felt engaged in the story.

Any additional comments?

Jason Isaacs does a good job of narration, the pace is just about right and characterisations as good as they could be given the source material. It's not a bad book, just not a terribly good one either. This was my first foray into post-Le-Carre contemporary spy fiction; I am hoping there are better, more exciting and more engaging examples yet to encounter.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Karen Choo on 04-01-15

A Spy Story With No Soul

The first three-quarter of the book was rather dull. I would have preferred the protagonists to possess more character depth and human emotions. As it is, I did not bond with any of the characters as I would normally have done with those in any good well-written books. With all due respect, I have no doubt Mr. Brookes was an excellent reporter and therein, I think,lies the problem - his writing is too clinical, with all emotions omitted from the narrative. The plot itself isn't half bad but things do not liven up until the lasts two hours of the book. One other thing - the narrator's Mandarin pronunciation was a huge source of entertainment for me- this was partly the reason I listened to the book till the end.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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