Hungry Ghost - Stephen Leather

First Chapters - Stephen Leather Hungry Ghost
Hungry Ghost - Stephen Leather book cover

Ex-SAS hired killing machine Geoff Howells is brought out of retirement and sent to Hong Kong, his brief to assassinate a Chinese Mafia leader, Simon Ng. But Howells finds Ng is well guarded, and devises a complicated plan to reach his victim - only to find himself the next target...

Hong Kong policeman Patrick Dugan has been held back in his career because of his connections - his sister is married to Simon Ng. When Ng's daughter Sophie is kidnapped and Simon himself disappears, Dugan is caught up in a series of violent events and an international spying intrigue that has run out of control...

Tough writing, relentless storytelling and a searingly evocative background of Hong Kong in the aftermath of Tiananmen Square make Hungry Ghost a compulsive read.

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STEPHEN LEATHER WRITES

Hungry Ghost was the first of my novels to be published in hardback. Pay Off and The Fireman were both paperback originals. It's also the first book I wrote in the third person. I'd asked my editor at Harper Collins how I would go about selling more copies, and she said I should read Gerald Seymour. I did, and tried to write more to his style.

Like The Firman, many of the characters are based on people I met while working in Hong Kong, and I think I did a god job of capturing the atmosphere of the colony in the run up to its handover to China.