Thursday, May 18, 2017

Bai Tide by Erika Mitchell - #review


• Paperback: 244 pages
• Publisher: Champagne Books; First Edition edition (April 5, 2015)

An espionage thriller for people who like explosions and sarcasm.

CIA case officer Bai Hsu is stationed in San Diego, where his job is to safeguard the valuable emotional collateral of some of the world’s most powerful people (read: their kids). Just when he thinks he’s landed the easiest assignment of all time, an operative starts targeting the school and it’s up to Bai to figure out who the operative is after, and why. This fast-paced story will take you from the picturesque beaches of San Diego to a deadly blizzard in Pyongyang and make Bai question everything he thought he knew about working in the field, and about himself.


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MY REVIEW

On the surface, Bai has a pretty comfortable life: a not-too-demanding teaching job at an exclusive private school, on-site digs, and southern California weather.  But just like you can't judge a book by it's cover, you can't judge a person by appearances.

Bai's life is anything (and maybe everything) other than how it seems.  He's a spy, although I suppose it's more pc these days to call him an 'operative', and he's been sent undercover at the school to protect the children of a North Korean defector.  Such a considerate man, he brought the US a 'hostess gift' of technology that the folks in Pyongyang would really like to get back.  So much so, that they would not hesitate to kidnap one of the children to use as leverage.  The trouble is, Bai doesn't know which students are the parties of interest.

And he's not the only one in on the secret hide-and-seek game where the two young ladies are "it".  You see, not only are the Americans and North Koreans interested in this technology, but so are other nations.  Let's just say the international contingent at the school is not limited to students.  But, I suspect Bai is the only one the school administrator knows about.

Ms. Mitchell has given us the start of a fantastic string of Bai novels, every bit as exciting as a 'Bond ... James Bond' tale.  Bai enters North Korea under cover as a journalist, helping a former indigenous agent sneak back into her country.  Since they're not really journalists, they have a lot of time on their hands and so they toss in a little sabotage at a site or two off the radar of most tourist itineraries.  While there, the pair face some situations that will give you shivers that have nothing to do with being out in the winter weather.

Bai Tide is a good read for just about anyone, a great read for fans of the thriller genre, and an essential read for spy thriller aficionados. 

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MEET THE AUTHOR



Erika Mitchell is the author of Blood Money, a standalone novel about one accountant’s efforts to take down a terrorism financier, and Bai Tide, the first book in her Bai Hsu series. Erika uses her lifelong passion for espionage to infuse her stories with the fun and intrigue of the James Bond movies she grew up watching, and sets those stories in ripped-from-the-headlines locations around the globe. When she’s not writing, she’s raising two tiny spies-in-training with her husband in Seattle, WA.

Find out more about Erika at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. You can also read her blog at parsingnonsense.com.

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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

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