What is the Pale Tiger?
A fading sheet of A4, buried in the vaults of an intelligence service on the other side of the world?
Or perhaps it was only ever a myth, a cold war legend…
But maybe The Pale Tiger is horribly real, a brutally audacious plan to visit a deadly revenge with breath-taking historical symmetry.
As an American and a Chinese warship collide in the storm-lashed South China Sea the world holds its breath. Trade and territorial tensions between the two superpowers have been escalating at an alarming rate and this latest crisis threatens to strain already fraught relations to breaking point.
In the US, still gripped in an epidemic of opioid abuse, the corridors of Washington hum with intrigue. Some see the sinister workings of an existential threat to the nation’s security, others see something quite different. Rival factions at the very heart of the intelligence complex fiercely pursuing their own agendas, but to what end?
In London, a strange death at a leading Global Hedge Fund attracts the attention of DI Anne Perry. She suspects foul play, but someone has covered their tracks well. She senses something, stalking the elegant hallways of high finance – something deadly.
MI6 also has this same hedge fund in their sights and Emma Wilson is dispatched to Hong Kong trailing one of the fund’s principals. There, she makes a shocking discovery that will change everything.
As the malign web of intrigue tightens, events in the stormy seas off the Chinese coast are unfolding at a frightening pace. The defining clash between the two most powerful navies seems all but inevitable as a massive US Carrier Strike Group prepares to enter the Taiwan Strait.
As the world thunders towards the precipice of war, erstwhile enemies must forge an unlikely alliance to uncover the conspiracy that threatens to engulf the globe in conflict. The secret lies deep beneath the rain-swept streets of London where Anne Perry and Emma Wilson must face their demons and their destinies.
Who is The Ringmaster? And what is Operation Pale Tiger?
A prophecy and a new reality?
‘I used to think ’truth’ was something pure, forged in the furnace of honesty, tempered by the hammer of clarity on the anvil of understanding.’ Medford paused. ‘But now I know where ’truth’ comes from’. He nodded again. ’Saturday night, outside the bar, convenience up against the clapperboard fence, its legs wrapped around wishful thinking.’ He blinked. ‘And prejudice, cheering them on.’
The Pale Tiger. A world lamenting the death of truth. ‘We dress up obsession and call it conviction. That smart-casual imposter, companion of our times.’
A plot, sinister and brutal threads, carefully woven into a blanket of deception. A savage and deadly game, played out against the clamour of Hong Kong, the jungles of Colombia, the chill, grey streets of London and a Washington seething with intrigue.
A world teetering on the brink. He looked up at Mercado. ‘We’ve got a room full of four star generals playing top trumps with a bunch of grim-faced admirals. All twitchy as hell from too many double expressos and last night’s Viagra.’ He sat back in his chair. ‘The Redeemer Nation.’ He paused. ‘A sense of destiny and a load of heavy ordnance.’ He shook his head. ‘Can you think of a worse combination?’ Medford leant forward. ’The noble causes are always the bloodiest.’
A world losing its way. ‘People look at words on a screen all day and think they’re learning things…’ Kasper shook his head. ‘Biggest muscle in the body, the brain. But you got to use it or lose it, right?’ He took another breath. ‘Analysts today, can’t bench-press more than one thought at a time.’
A world without certainties. She turned to face him again. ‘It’s an easy mistake to make.’ She paused. ‘Just because someone has a lot to lose, doesn’t mean they won’t risk it all.’
‘Money without muscle,’ Kasper nodded, ‘just makes you a bigger target.’
But is this the future? The Pale Tiger is a thought-provoking piece of contemporary fiction that shines the spotlight on some of the existential challenges facing us today.
A full-throated thriller that challenges the way we see the world.
The Pale Tiger is the searingly topical debut novel by City veteran Mike Harrison. This fast-paced geopolitical thriller, set against the backdrop of an alarming escalation of tensions between the US and China, could not be timelier.
Mike Harrison, 59, is a Cambridge law graduate and a chartered accountant who spent 30 years at the heart of global financial markets. As he puts it: ‘I have seen the beast.’ ‘That toxic nexus where power and money warp the best of intentions and fan the worst of them.’
His work has taken him around the world, from the harsh splendour of Manhattan to the stately squares of Moscow; from Frankfurt’s solemn boardrooms to the stinging heat of Singapore’s streets.
His writing incorporates what he knows, lending authenticity and credibility to his work.He brings in-depth research and experience to his characters and scenes, winning wide praise from those who are in the ‘great game’ for real. The novel’s focus on the politics of China and the US, and the opioid crisis, serve as an astonishingly prescient model for the politics of today.
He lives in West London with his wife. They have three children.
A screenplay has recently been written by Mike Harrison and Kate Whitney for a feature film of The Pale Tiger, which will be co-produced by Gareth Jones, former head of HandMade Films.
The Pale Tiger will be filmed in London, Hong Kong and Washington with financing partners in the US, UK and possibly Asia. The film is being cast at present with a focus on A-list actors for the two strong female leads.
The film will be released in cinemas internationally and in all digital media in 2021. It is aimed at an audience who enjoyed the Jason Bourne films and those who were compelled by the intricacies of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
During his thirty-year career in the film industry Gareth has financed, distributed and sold rights for over 120 films, including Withnail and I, Mona Lisa, Secretary, Mum’s List, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Where to Buy
The Pale Tiger is also available to purchase online through major booksellers.
Publisher: Matthew James Publishing Ltd
“Well written and closely observed..with flashes of brilliance”
Tim Clissold, author of best-seller ‘Mr China’, the former Economist business book of the year
“This is a gripping, rollercoaster ride with dips and twists that always surprise. And the most gripping element of the novel – is that it might actually be true!”
Martin Palmer (authority on China, translator of the Chinese Classics for Penguin and million bestseller TAO TE CHING with Jay Ramsay).
“Insightful, thrilling and persuasive on the geopolitics”