Hachette Book Group
New York, New York
"I will not tell anyone that you sold sexual favors in a labor reform facility."
Most people have heard of the horror stories about life inside a Chinese prison. Not many people survive life inside and even fewer share their experiences inside the prison. Few people leave these facilities alive and that attempted escapes are rare, if ever successful.
It seems that many of the prisoners are not hardened criminals but idealists who are a threat to the governmental authorities. Spying or a threat of spying is not unusual. Speaking out for your beliefs is not commonly tolerated in many places throughout the world.
Peanut is one of these unfortunate prisoners. His real name is Li Huasheng who was an up-and-coming engineer living in Beijing who did sell his country's technology secrets to the U.K. The support for Peanut was pulled when he attacked a soldier during the Tiananmen Square protests.
However he has a special talent for survival. Each day he plays the game of being hard-working and obedient while secretly planning his possible escape, looking for the weaknesses in the system that could be opportunities for him.
Wisely he knows how to search out those people who are the most vulnerable and the most likely to help him, those who live on the edge of society.
Twenty-years ago, Peanut spied for the British. After living in a prison all this time, he knows that it is time for him to leave. Through years of observing and planning, he successfully escapes the confines of the prison encampment and somewhat surprising, he is not diligently pursued. Obviously the authorities do not believe anyone can survive the night in the winter desert area of northwest China.
Imagine his surprise when he arrives in Beijing. How does anyone survive in the city after being away so long? Who will help him? How can he contact his MI6 paymaster from years ago? Are his secrets still valuable to be rescued? What is his future?
Adam Brookes has been a foreign correspondent for the British Broadcasting Corporation serving in China, Indonesia, the United States, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea and numerous other countries. He currently resides in Takoma Park, Maryland.
Night Heron is an enthralling tale of life in a place and situation that is unique. Imagine anyone, even in this country attempting to understand the technological world after being isolated for twenty years.
Peanut is a fascinating character with the reader accompanying him with every choice, sometimes frustrated or triumphant, and irritated that you can't assist him a little more.
Night Heron is a wonderful novel that open everyone's eyes to a much wider world.