A masterful storyteller at the top of his form, Bartle Bull follows the successes of his popular African novels A Cafe on the Nile and The Devil’s Oasis with an equally compelling tale of political terror and personal vengeance that unfolds in China’s colorful, turbulent port city of Shanghai. Revolution has been born in China by 1918, where Mao Tse-tung and the Soviet agent Mikhail Borodin stir the peasantry with oratory and the Communist dream. Their fiery words reach Jessica James, too, as do the machinations of the ruthless Russian commissar Viktor Polyak, who makes this rebellious daughter of American missionaries his tool. From another Russia comes the well-born Alexander Karlov. He arrives in Shanghai with a mission, for the Bolsheviks have brutally killed his mother and abducted his twin sister. Vengeance commands Alexander’s soul. It also entangles him in perilous alliances—with the Cossack hetman Ivan Semyonov; with Mei-lan, a woman who knows Shanghai’s darkest secrets; with “Big Ear,” leader of the city’s most powerful Triad; with the French police; and with a spirited young American woman who calls herself Jesse James. This rousing historical adventure sweeps the reader along into the dangerous political intrigues of exotic Shanghai.
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Published December 10, 2003
by Carroll & Graf.
History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction.