“A gut punch of a thriller. This riveting debut is an intoxicating story of espionage, adventure, love, and betrayal in Beijing.” —David McCloskey, former CIA officer and author of widely acclaimed Damascus Station
INSPIRED BY ACTUAL EVENTS: When a high-ranking Chinese general wants to defect to the US, the CIA tries to recruit a recent Harvard grad teaching at a Beijing university to exfiltrate the man’s daughter—a treacherous operation that could shape the balance of power for decades.
The whole debacle was classified and buried. Until now.
It’s 1998, and China’s political and military leaders are torn by ideological divisions. Amid these seething rivalries, Andrew Callahan arrives in Beijing fresh out of Harvard, planning to spend an adventurous year studying Mandarin and teaching at the renowned International Affairs University. The IAU is known as a training ground for diplomats and spies. But Andrew has no idea that his budding relationship with the attractive and self-assured dean’s assistant, Lily Jiang, will also entangle him in a conspiratorial web of worldwide proportions.
A CIA officer approaches Andrew and informs him that Lily’s father is a top Chinese general caught in a power struggle. The general wants to defect but won’t do so without his wife and daughter. Even more shocking is that the Agency needs Andrew’s assistance for Lily to evade round-the-clock surveillance and escape to the US.
If Andrew agrees, he’ll face lethal odds against China’s ruthless security services to help pull off one of the greatest intelligence coups in American history. If he refuses, it could cost Lily and her family their lives.
Set against the backdrop of a beautiful culture at a turbulent time, China Hand is the story of a reluctant spy and a mission whose deadly consequences continue to reverberate today.
Scott Spacek, originally from Cleveland, has lived in China for most of the last two decades, working as a technology executive and advisor to leading corporations and governmental organizations. He attended Harvard University and speaks Mandarin Chinese. Teaching at an elite university in Beijing after college provided revealing details for this novel, his first.
"China Hand is an exotic blend of high-octane action, blooming romance, and realistic espionage. It's hard to believe that such a refined thriller is indeed Scott Spacek's debut."
– Kashif Hussain, Best Thriller Books
"A gut punch of a thriller. This riveting debut is an intoxicating story of espionage, adventure, love, and betrayal in Beijing. A China hand himself, Spacek wows not only in the pulse-pounding action, but also in painting a deeply authentic portrait of modern China."
– David McCloskey, former CIA officer and author of widely acclaimed Damascus Station