Friday, May 10, 2013

Charles McCarry

Charles McCarry's new novel is The Shanghai Factor.

From his Q & A with Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg for the Wall Street Journal's book blog:

Speakeasy: How did you decide on the plot for this novel?

Charles McCarry: The idea of a dangle—an asset that you dangle in front of the enemy in the hope that he will bite thinking he is doubling somebody when in fact he is being doubled— has been wandering around in my brain for while. A dangle is a bait, but it’s a poisoned bait. You’ve got the enemy in a frame of mind where he believes the agent you are offering to him will work for him, and report on the intelligence service to which he belongs.

The Chinese company at the heart of the novel, which is never identified by name, appears to have unlimited sources of cash and a willingness to do anything to achieve its goals. How realistic a view of Chinese corporate culture is this?

Well, from what I’ve heard it is quite realistic. The subtext is that the Chinese is company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of their intelligence service. That’s the explanation for its dark side. On the surface it operates like a traditional company while running intelligence operations and making money for...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue