book cover of China Gold
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China Gold

(Operation Sovereign)
A novel by

Publisher's Weekly
According to the publisher, the pseudonymous Tarrant ( The Rommel Plot ) is, under his own name, one of Great Britain's leading thriller writers. His latest effort, however, gives no indication of this stature. In December 1941, alarmed by the imminent Japanese invasion, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank decides to put into effect a secret plan called Sovereign. The two million pounds in gold bullion currently housed in the bank's vaults will be transferred surreptitiously to the S.S. Delphic Star , which will then depart for Australia. But Detective Chief Inspector George Ramsay has other ideas for the gold. He recruits several colleagues with as little respect for the law as he has--and equal greed. Their plan is to kidnap Jill Hammond, wife of the bank's security chief, thereby sabotaging security measures, as Hammond is a doting husband. Then, by creating some chaos and confusion, they can transfer the gold to their own pockets. Enter Frank Waldron, a U.S. citizen awaiting extradition from Hong Kong, who accidentally stumbles into the middle of Ramsay's scheme. Though the plot affords ample opportunity for suspense, its fragmentary nature combines with mediocre writing to make this thriller merely ho-hum.

Library Journal
Set in Hong Kong as it was in December 1941, this is the story of a gold heist gone awry. The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank plans to transfer two and one half million pounds in gold reserves to a ship bound for Sydney, Australia, hoping the money will be safe in the event of Japanese invasion. However, in charge of the operation is a group of enterprising police officers who see their chance at riches and plot to keep the bullion for themselves. With its massive cast of characters, this novel written pseudonymously by Clive Egleton requires concentration and can be confusing. Transitions from one scene to another are somewhat abrupt and unexpected, making the excellent storyline often hard to follow. Despite these weaknesses, this is still a stirring tale, and fans of Egleton's other novels (e.g., A Conflict of Interests, LJ 9/15/83, The Bormann Brief, LJ 2/1/74)) should certainly enjoy this one. For most fiction collections.-- Bettie Spivey Cormier, Charlotte-Meck lenburg P.L., Charlotte, N.C.

Genre: Thriller

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