Friday, 25 May 2018

Book review : Missing In Shanghai - Jean Harrod


When I reviewed the first novel in Jean Harrod's Diplomatic Crime Series, Deadly Diplomacy, I described the main protagonist, British consul Jess Turner, as "a magnet for trouble, danger and excitement". After the first book, set in Canberra, came the sequel, Deadly Deceit, this time based in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, and Missing In Shanghai, the newly released third installment, follows Jess back to London, working on the China desk in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. My opinion of the feisty leading lady hasn't changed, but it does seem that she attracts trouble unwittingly, rather than going out looking for it.

As if preparing a highly important State visit from the Chinese premier isn't stressful enough, Jess uncovers a scandalous cover-up in Shanghai in the 1980's, involving the supposed suicide of the British ambassador and the disappearance of a young British diplomat at the same time. As she starts digging deeper, the bigwigs in the British embassy start looking flustered and she is warned to let sleeping dogs lie. This being Jess, this obviously has the opposite effect and, seconded by her friend and ally from the other books, Aussie cop Tom Sangster, who just happens to be in London on secondment to Scotland Yard, Jess sets out to uncover the truth, even when her own safety is put in danger.

As with the previous novels in the series, it's a fast-paced, explosive and mainly believable story (even if Jess does seem as indestructible as most Hollywood heroes and heroines) and I was gripped from beginning to end. The villains are slightly one dimensional - I would have liked to delve deeper into their psyches and gain deeper understanding of their motivations and hidden agendas - but Jess is a very likeable character, and I was very pleased to watch her personal story developing, alongside her professional one. The ending left me feeling slightly ambivalent - although it is undoubtedly realistic for the bad guys to come out on top, I like my fiction to tie up all the loose ends - but Jess is a very determined young woman so I'm sure they'll get their comeuppance in a future instalment !

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £7.99

  • Paperback: 425 pages
  • Publisher: York Authors Coffee Shop (17 May 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0992997178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0992997175


Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a very intriguing installment in Jess Turner's adventures around the world.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...