Soho, Dec 2008, $24.00
In 1937 in Hong Kong Jonathan Hawatyne and his fiancee antiques dealer Leah Kolbe attend a movie when the second Sino-Japanese War begins. They are separated as the Japanese easily take the city. However, Leah flees the dangerous occupation by boat to Macau where she fortunately finds work and some safety at the British Consulate.
She is worried about Jonathan who seems to have disappeared, but she is happy to be alive. Benjamin Eldersen meets Leah and tries to persuade her to help him in his quest to abduct the son of a key Japanese ammunition and steel manufacturer. She agrees to assist him as a successful snatch could disrupt Japanese war plans.
This enjoyable 1930s romantic espionage thriller provides readers with a fascinating tour of Hong Kong and Macau as the Japanese invade China. The story line focuses on survival in an occupation zone that will hook readers. Although Leah's torment for her lost lover is right, she never pulls off the deep poignancy as she comes across shallow and hollow. Still Caroline Petit provides a deep look at two Chinese cities during the Second Sino-Japanese War.