Excerpt from Hong Kong by Stephen Coonts, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Hong Kong

by Stephen Coonts

Hong Kong
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2000, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2001, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter One

One tiny, red, liquid drop of blood was visible in the center of the small, neat hole in China Bob Chan's forehead an inch or so above his right eye. Chan's eyes were wide open. Tommy Carmellini thought his features registered a look of surprise.

Carmellini pulled off his right latex glove, bent down, and touched the cheek of the corpse--which was still warm.

Death must have been instantaneous, and not many minutes ago, Carmellini thought as he pulled the glove back onto his hand.

The diminutive corpse of China Bob Chan lay sprawled behind his Philippine mahogany desk in the library of his mansion on the south side of Hong Kong Island.

When Carmellini had eased the library door open a few seconds ago, he had seen the shod foot protruding from behind the desk. He scanned the room, then entered the library.

The side of the room opposite the door consisted of a series of large plate-glass windows accented with heavy burgundy drapes. Through the windows was a magnificent view of the harbor at Aberdeen. Beyond the harbor was the channel between Hong Kong Island and Lamma Island. A few lights could be seen on sparsely populated Lamma, and beyond that island, the total darkness of the South China Sea. Tonight the lights of the great city of Hong Kong, out of sight on the north side of the island's spine, illuminated a low deck of stratus clouds with a dull glow.

The band at the party on the floor below this one was playing an old American pop hit; the tune was recognizable even though the amplified lyrics were muffled by overstuffed furniture and shelves of books that reached from floor to ceiling.

Tommy Garmellini looked around, trying to find the spent cartridge. There, a gleam of brass near the leg of that chair. In the subdued light of the library he almost missed it.

He stepped over, bent down, looked.

7.65 millimeter.

That cartridge was designed for small, easy-to-conceal pocket pistols. Difficult to shoot accurately, they were serious weapons only at point-blank range.

Standing in front of the desk, he put his hands on his hips and carefully scanned the room. Somewhere in this room Harold Barnes hid a tape recorder eleven days ago when he installed the wiring for a satellite dish system.

Presumably Chan had ordered the system so that he could watch American television. Perhaps he was a fan of C-Span, which was broadcasting the congressional hearings concerning foreign--i.e., Chinese--donations to the American political parties in the last election; in the past ten days his name had certainly been mentioned numerous times in those hearings.

Alas, Barnes had left no record of where he hid the recorder. He had been shot in the head the night after he completed the installation.

Carmellini was certain Barnes would have used a recorder, not a remote transmitter, which would have been too easy to detect and find. One reason he was certain was that he had known Barnes, a quiet, careful, colorless technician who had gone through the CIA tradecraft course with Carmellini. Who would have suspected that Barnes would be the first of that class to die in the line of duty?

The mikes...Harold ostensibly spent four hours on the television satellite dish system, a system he should have been able to install in two. If he followed normal practice, he would have hardwired at least two tiny microphones, one for each track of the recorder.

The chandelier over the mahogany desk caught Tommy's eye. Ornate, with several dozen small bulbs, it would attract Harold Barnes like sugar attracts a fly.

Carmellini studied the chain that held the chandelier. There was a wire running down it... no, two wires--one black wire and the other smaller, carefully wound around the chain.

Barnes could have put a mike in the chandelier, another anywhere in the room--maybe the desk or over by the reading area--and hidden the recorder behind some books, perhaps on the top shelf. Surely there were tomes that didn't get removed from the shelves once a decade.

Copyright 2000 © by Stephen Coonts. Published by the permission of the publisher, St Martins Press.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Never-Open Desert Diner
    by James Anderson
    James Anderson's debut novel, The Never-Open Desert Diner, starts off as an entertaining ...
  • Book Jacket
    In the Country of Men
    by Hisham Matar
    Labeled by some as the "Libyan Kite Runner", In The Country of Men does share some ...
  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

To win without risk is to triumph without glory

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.