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.
The best British spy novel debut in years
Debut of the month is Adam Brookes's accomplished Night Heron
A page turner that takes the reader from China's far west to the streets of the fascinating Chinese capital, pulsing with power and danger
An intriguing, skilful and taut novel...elegantly plotted and with a piercing eye for detail
Night Heron by Adam Brookes, a smart spy thriller set in China, I found wholly diverting: another world
The BBC's former China correspondent joins the ranks of John le Carré and Frederick Forsyth with a laser-sharp Beijing spy thriller . . . Brookes arrives a full formed talent, with a complete mastery of the genre
An outstanding first novel
Engrossing and compelling
Night Heron reeks with verisimilitude in its settings and atmosphere, and is accompanied by a cleverly plotted action-filled story of Anglo-Chinese espionage
This exciting thriller opens a rare window on the real China of today
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.
Fast-paced, intelligent, stimulating and action-packed
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.
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.
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 best spy novel so far this year . . . signals the start of what should be a very promising career in fictional spying. Combining the intrigue and complexity of the classic spy novel with contemporary themes and skilfully realised Chinese locations this is certainly an espionage novel for the 21st Century.