Hungry Ghost - Stephen Leather
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.
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.