Thursday 14 February 2013

Book Review: The Hong Kong Deception by John Thompson

The Hong Kong Deception
by John Thompson
#2 in the Brent Lucas Series
Pressque Publishing

Review Copy from author's representative

4 Stars


When an argument on the football practice field turns vicious and leaves one boy in a coma, Brent Lucas is convinced it was far more than a simple fight between a Chinese exchange student and another player. As the only witness to the fight, Lucas defends the Chinese student, unaware that he is putting himself and his family in mortal danger. Lucas finds himself drawn into a widening vortex that involves sex slavery and murder and reaches all the way around the world. Caught between an innocent boy and a group struggling for dominance of the Chinese mafia, Lucas battles to save the people he loves while at the same time trying to prove the young man’s innocence.


Brent Lucas returns in this next thriller in the series, but don't worry if you haven't read the first one, this story works well as a stand-alone and there are a few snippets of what happened in the last one so you won't feel too adrift.

Lucas is now working as a teacher and football coach in a New Jersey prep school, married to policewoman Maggie and they are expecting their first child, something Lucas is very worried about, with concerns about how good a father he'll make due to his own family problems.

The pace of this book is lightning fast, with short chapters that tease you to read more, and you do, staying up half the night to get to the next part. It is a good book, the characters are well-defined, even the bad guys, but for me it lacked a bit of tension.

We as the readers, know who did what, when, where and why. We know who the bad guys are, what their motives are and what they do, a long time before Lucas does. It would have been much more interesting if the reader didn't find out the cause of the fight between the two boys on the football pitch and were searching for answers at the same time as Lucas was. As it is, the readers see all the crimes committed and who did them so the suspense was gone.

The main gist of the book is Lucas trying to figure out if Tommy Chaung, the exchange student is innocent of the crimes he's being accused of, but the readers already know the truth, so Lucas floundering around trying to find out things we already know seems a bit redundant.

There was a good balance between the crime solving, finding out the truth and the personal lives of the characters, nothing felt too overpowering, it all melded well.

As I said, it's a good book, well-written with good characterisation, but I would have preferred just a bit more mystery along with the thrills.

Reviewed by Annette Gisby

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