this is the 232nd in my series of forgotten or seldom read books
I’m not terribly fond of books written in little bits and snatches like two page paragraphs, and I’m not terribly fond of books in which the author makes excessive use of flashbacks. This book has both so my reaction is predictable.
The story begins – or would if the author told it from the beginning and straight through – in a Japanese prison camp near the end of World War II and continues to about 1955, during which time the Crown Colony of Hong Kong has become the primary seat of trade and business in that part of the world. Nick Ridley is interred in Changi, a brutal Japanese POW camp. The commandant is Colonel Tetsuro Matashima and a hate builds between these men ending in a fight neither wins. After the dropping of the A-bombs ends the war and Riddley has recovered in a Manila hospital, he buys some surplus C-47 airplanes and starts up an air cargo service in Hong Kong.
What follows is a little confusing, but there is a great deal of trouble as Ridley is the target of revenge by an English businessman over a business deal gone wrong, and by the still living and obsessed Matashima. There isn’t that much mystery in the genre sense here, the book jacket refers to it as “another spellbinding thriller”. I did finish it and it had it’s moments, but more than once I found myself thinking elements of the book were not dissimilar to James Clavell’s Noble House and I’d prefer to be re-reading that.