The Shanghai Factor - Charles McCarry
This is my first foray into McCarry's spy thrillers, and I enjoyed it more for the setting than for the character development. I'm unfamiliar with China—one of the few places about which I can say that—so the author's descriptions intrigued me. One of our children speaks Mandarin, so I've absorbed a few of his studies along the way, and McCarry's depictions are consistent with what I've learned from my son.

The settings alone are reason to read this book, as is the sense of place in terms of lifestyle, culture, and politics.

That being written, I found the character development to be a little thin on the ground. I'd like to have known more about the protagonist a little earlier in the book; he appeared just another self-absorbed young man with too much testosterone and too little ambition early on. While I suspected the antogonist about halfway through the book, a lot of the action and intrigue kept me reading even though several story points were left unasnwered and ambiguous.

But I'll read more McCarry because of his ability to create a fascinating setting.