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 The Pale Tiger

Mike Harrison

Mike Harrison, 60, 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.

Film Adaptation

Mike has recently completed writing the screenplay adaptation with the film’s director, Niall Johnson. The film, to be produced with Gareth Jones (LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, DAMASCUS COVER) is in active development and currently casting with a focus on A-List actors for the two female leads.
The shoot will span London, Europe and Hong Kong, with a planned general release in cinemas internationally and across all digital media in late 2023.
Gareth Jones

Gareth Jones

Gareth headed the iconic British film company Handmade Films and during his thirty year career in the film industry has financed, distributed and sold rights for over 120 films, including WITHNAIL AND I, MONA LISA, SECRETARY and MUM’S LIST. During the pandemic Gareth’s distribution company released the spy thriller DAMASCUS COVER with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and distributed several other titles.

Niall Johnson

Niall Johnson

Niall’s career as a film writer and director spans 30 years. Writing credits include the hit supernatural thriller WHITE NOISE (starring Michael Keaton) and the award-winning animation ANOTHER DAY OF LIFE. His work as writer-director includes the black comedy classic KEEPING MUM (starring Rowan Atkinson, Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas and the late Patrick Swayze), true-story heartbreak drama MUM’S LIST (starring Rafe Spall and Emilia Fox)  and New Zealand Western THE STOLEN (starring Alice Eve and Jack Davenport).  

The Pale Tiger

Where to Buy

The Pale Tiger is also available to purchase online through major booksellers.

Publisher: Echo Point Books & Media LLC
ISBN: 9781648370472

Get in Touch

If you’d like to get in touch, please feel free to do so via the email address below:

“Two international super powers, two investigators, a global incident – the recipe for intrigue has all the ingredients, and Mike Harrison serves a delectable dish for thriller fans in ‘The Pale Tiger.’”

KFMG-FM “The Culture Buzz”

“A geo-political thriller, ‘The Pale Tiger’ is eerie prescient to modern headlines and uses those rising tensions as the starting point for a plot brimming with unexpected twists and turns, danger, suspense and the unthinkable.”

New York Lifestyles Magazine

“A deftly crafted read by an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style that is impressively compelling from the first page to last.”

Midwest Book Review

“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”

Alistair Michie, Chair of the Centre for China and Globalisation, Beijing