Villec, John. (2007). Treachery in Hong Kong. New York, Lincoln, Shanghai: iUniverse

Treachery in Hong Kong is another typical thriller novel but with American rather than British protagonists.  Hong Kong again performs a peripheral role, this time as the place where an American billionaire becomes the victim of a plot to embezzle his money. Stanley Eckert, a Chicago native who has made a fortune in Hong Kong, suddenly disappears from the city while  his son Brad, a straight-A college student, finds himself framed for narcotics possession in Chicago.

Having led   a comfortable and indulgent life so far, Brad suddenly faces challenges he has never encountered before. But the police  knows about Bradís innocence; he is freed and  one of the officers suggests that his arrest and fatherís disappearance cannot be coincidental. Brad also finds out that his father is suspected of tax fraud and is wanted by Hong Kong authorities. Based on the Chicago policemanís suspicions and convinced of his father's innocence, Brad travels to Hong Kong to investigate. He manages to gain entry into his fatherís office and finds two compact disks in a secret drawer in his fatherís desk. He also has a brief affair with his fatherís Chinese assistant, Jia Li, who believes Stanley Eckert is being framed and feels sympathy for the son.

Brad also suspects that his stepmother Helen might be involved in his fatherís disappearance, and confronts her at the Eckertís palatial house on the Peakóa meeting which confirms his suspicions. However, before Brad can leave Hong Kong  with the computer disks which he believes contain  evidence that will exonerate his father,  he finds his credit cards and bank accounts frozen. After abandoning a plan to escape Hong Kong by boat, Brad manages to find sufficient money to return to Chicago.

Having retrieved the data from the disks, Brad approaches the FBI. Initially, the FBI is unable to help Brad because though his father is a US citizen, the crimes he is accused of are committed in another country. But as Brad searches for more clues to his fatherís predicament, he begins to be followed, threatened and ultimately attacked by shadowy underworld figures, allowing the FBI to step in. The FBIís investigations reveal that Helen masterminded the plot and that Stanley Eckert is being held captive in Moscow. Following Helenís arrest, Stanley manages to break free from his place of captivity and is united with his son in Chicago. Ultimately Eckert decides to move back to Chicago leaving his Hong Kong business and commends Brad for his fortitude and courage. Jia Li also reunites with Brad in Chicago leading to a romantic resolution to the Eckert familyís troubles. The plot has a quasi-bildungsroman quality in that  the readers are  shown how Brad evolves from a protected rich kid to a mature young man who saves his father and his familyís honour. (HR)

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