Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Hainan Incident

Holy Cow - I just finished a gooooood book this week that cost me  a LOT of sleep.
(I need some responsible person in my life telling me when to "go to BED!!")
Normally I am not a fan of mystery / suspense type stories. Heck I don't even like birthday surprises. I am not hardwired to enjoy surprises of any kind. So its always a big 'surprise' when I enjoy a good suspense book. I thoroughly enjoyed the "Hainan Incident", and I heartily recommend it.

After about a week of reading when I could find the time, I invested two very late nights in a row 'cause I believed I might finish it the first night - but I badly overestimated my reading speed - notwithstanding the fact that I could NOT put the book down. The second late night I came within 3 PAGES! 3 Pages of finishing, but I was so doggone tired I couldn't focus and kept reading the same paragraph over and over till I finally admitted defeat and turned the light off. The story was at such an exciting point that night that I literally was shaking! I was shivering so bad (I kid you not) my TEETH were chattering. No wonder I don't like surprises. I couldn't live like that on a daily basis if you paid me! I finally finished it (the last 3 pages) first thing in the morning - as soon as my mind was clear and my eyes could focus again. And I've been thinking about it ever since.

A first novel for author DM Coffman, (always a pleasant surprise when a first novel is this good) it was well written, engaging, believable, even compelling. The Hainan Incident takes place on Mainland China, with the main character being an American born attorny of Chinese descent. Convert to the church who served a Chinese speaking mission. A good man, who had the background, the education, the disguise (quite conveniently), the language and the patriotic desire to accept an unexpected assignment as an undercover agent to expose corruption in China’s court system. Incidently, DM Coffman lived in Beijing with her husband - like two of her characters - during the time that the story takes place, so she has excellent insight into the places and people she writes about. 

the Hainan Incident
     by DM Coffman
Also available on audio CD

Before beginning his first undercover assignment, American attorney Yi Jichun travels to Hainan Island on the South China Sea for some much-needed respite—but finds trouble instead. Already uneasy about his charge to expose corruption in China’s court system, Yi stumbles upon a hidden computer network in an ancient island village and finds himself drawn into an investigation that tears him between his religious principles and the lie he must live.
Aided by Sarah, an esteemed fellow judge, and Meijuan, a village leader exiled by her powerful and corrupt son, Yi uncovers the Hainan Net—an international organization that targets global shipping channels in its quest for world power. But Yi loses ground when Sarah discovers his true identity as a foreign spy—and as the American military organizes a stealth assault in full cooperation with China’s government, Yi must reconcile the laws governing the land with the laws governing his honor.

Price: (CDN) $17.95
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Yi [Jason] Jichun is an active and worthy member of the church, but going into Communist China he must hide that fact so as not to draw attention to himself (and his differences) while he is undercover. How does one live the precepts of one's religion when one must never admit to others that he has a religion? Especially a religion such as ours? His American raised 'thinking' sometimes stands out as peculiar to those he closely associates with, but never does he dishonour himself, his covenants or his God. 

During a brief vacational respite before he reports to the University in Beijing he visits a tourist destination on the beautiful island of Hainan, but while there, unwittingly comes across a piece of trivia that seems strangely at odds with its surroundings. What others may call coincidences Latter-day Saints see very differently, as Yi is guided and protected as he worthily (if unwittingly at first) allows himself to be used as an instrument in the Lord's hands for a purpose much bigger than his wildest asperations or imaginations. Literally the fate of the world is on the alter. ..... 
Whew! I owe a lot to Yi Jichun for preserving the day to day normalicy of my life when I didn't even know it was on the chopping block. Oh yeah, it was only a novel ..... :-)