Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Turncoat

The Turncoat by Hal G. Evarts. David Grant lives in Hong Kong, working for an Import company. He’s an American born and raised in China and speaks the language fluently. His parents died during the Typhus epidemic in 1948, and he returned to the US. He served in the Army during the Korean War as an interpreter, but was captured and tortured, until he finally went to their side (against his will), become an American turncoat, and spent a year in the stockade. America never forgave him, so he chose Hong Kong to live and work. But now his past is catching up to him. Someone in the Embassy has him fired from his job, and then offers him another one. Work for them (who they are is never really explained, but probably CIA); they want him to enter China and locate the Panchen Lama and who is hiding from the Reds, and bring him to Honk Kong. If he does this, they will reinstate him in his job, and give him back his honor. A pacifist, he doesn’t consider himself a spy or killer, and doesn’t understand why he has been chosen for the task. He is eventually forced to accept, and illegally enters China. He must cross the Himalayas with a guide, and locate the missing Lama believed to be hiding in a village controlled by a vicious Chinese colonel and his mistress, Sonya Rosov, a beautiful woman who is of Russian and Tibetan descent. At the end of the story he does become an operative for the agency(a curious note, there is a spy series later featuring a n agent named David Grant, but written by someone else). This was a well-written and exciting tale, of an unlikely hero he must face danger, and maybe even death to clear his name. A Good read.

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