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China Wind by Anne Infante


China Wind: A tale of conspiracy and revenge in the high-rise glass towers of big business . . . with a dash of corruption, secret criminal societies, a beautiful promiscuous woman . . . and a twist of romance.

Langford-Price is one of the leading companies in Hong Kong. When the promiscuous wife of one of the directors mysteriously disappears, Brisbane private investigator, Carol Monk, is hired to go to China to find her. Carol immediately attracts some very unwelcome attention and finds herself in the middle of what appears to be a conspiracy to arm the citizens for an open revolt against the Beijing government at the fast approaching transition to Chinese rule.

Or is someone in Langford-Price running guns purely for their own profit? Against a background of political instability, Triad operations and personal fears for the future, the colony begins to celebrate Christmas.

But suddenly there are more disappearances and people start dying. Carol realises she could be next . . . 

Note: China Wind contains some harsh language.

A complete novel

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Listed: Feb 18, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

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you tell a story like a Hong Kong rose..

By Fiona Gregory, editor

May 14, 2009: The reviews so far have been very positive, and added to those on the author’s web page obviously this story appeals strongly to a number of people. I personally found it compelling enough to continue reading to the end, and it has given me a colourful mental picture of Hong Kong life that I will never forget, but I also have a few dissatisfactions.

My likes: The setting, to me, steals the show – the city lights, the boats in the harbour – I have never been to Hong Kong, but now I can see it in my minds’ eye. And the wide variety of characters, from expat business people to police dectectives to shipyard workers: the concerns over saving face and "Joss", the issues discussed as the date of Chinese takeover nears . . . all vividly brought to life by someone who clearly knows the city well. There are many major and minor characters in this novel, and they are all given individuality and realistic backgrounds and roles to play in the plot.

Dislikes: Despite this, it was sometimes hard to keep track of them all. There were some sections where I gave up and skimmed over. One main character, an Australian woman detective, seemed to spend a lot of time in trivial conversations about going out for dinner, etc..which I also started to skip over. In a way, she seemed unnecessary to the story as the real detective work was being done by another character. I think the pace of the story would have been helped by being tightened up and simplified with a little less flitting back and forth between multiple characters. There was some characterization that felt off to me. For example, in the opening chapter Wanda is presented as extraordinarily charming and charismatic, yet there is little evidence of this in her behaviour; she is consistently petulant and childlike and most other characters seem to hold her in disdain. Probably the most jarring note was at the end, when the murderer(s) and motive(s) are revealed, the other characters’ reactions seem curiously blase. Thus, the emotional impact of the story becomes flat.

I’m not sure if the novel works as an Agatha Christie style detective novel with clues for the reader to solve; there are some clues, but the details of the crime seem to get solved very quickly at the end by the private knowledge of one character. But then, I’ve never been good at these, so I may well have missed something!

Will probably be enjoyed by people who like detective stories in exotic locales.

4 of 4 members found this review helpful.
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Crime and soap Down Under

By Linda Schoales, editor

Apr 8, 2009: My first impression was that “China Wind” was going to be an Australian romance novel in the style of Danielle Steele, with lots of rich people throwing lavish parties and jetting off to exotic locales, and beautiful women competing for the attention of rich, powerful men. Then we found out that Carol Monk, one of the main characters, was a Private Investigator and I decided that this was going to be a romantic suspense or detective novel. Unfortunately, after 10 chapters we still don’t have a body but the author [more . . .]

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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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China Wind – highly recommended

By JulieD, member

Apr 21, 2009: Reading Anne Infante’s China Wind is like opening a well-wrapped gift – most relevant considering its Christmas setting. As you open each layer, Anne gently builds her characters and context, leading to the discovery of the mystery at its heart. There is also a hint of romance for Carol Monk which is like the sparkly bow on top – but who will be the successful suitor? Anne unfolds the map of pre-handover Hong Kong with vivid descriptions of the city and its surrounding territories and sets the plot in a [more . . .]

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China Wind … well worth a read

By Ian Clarke, member

Apr 23, 2009: China Wind is a novel reminiscent of Clavell’s writing, and, to me, that is a compliment. I have read several of Anne’s published novels, and have seen the development of a competent wordsmith at work. As with her songs, Anne doesn’t let the work see the light of day until she is satisfied with it (or so it seems to me).

I note one reviewer has expressed concern that not much has happened early in the novel. I found the same, [more . . .]

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China Wind – don’t miss this!

By Angela Poole, member

Apr 23, 2009: China Wind is a dramatic mystery where the investigators must unravel the intrigue and rumour surrounding gun-running, corporate crime, disappearances and, of course, murder.

The author paints a remarkable picture of pre-handover Hong Kong – from the criminal underbelly right down to the gossip-network of household staff.

The accurate and detailed descriptions bring locations to life, such as the ‘the army of elderly women employed to clean the city’s public rubbish bins’ [more . . .]

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