Review: Bai Tide by Erika Mitchell

Bai Tide cover - small

Blurb:

Coming April 7, 2015 from Champagne Books!

After the events of Blood Money, CIA case officer Bai Hsu is assigned to a high-security private school for what he’s told is an easy assignment. Just a few months after he arrives, a hostile operative with ties to North Korea tries to break in to a school event, with motives unknown.

As his investigation progresses, he unravels a plot that, if not stopped, will result in the untimely and murderous deaths of tens of millions of people. In order to stop the attack, Bai must recruit the one person he absolutely cannot trust in order to break into one of the most isolated, dangerous countries in the world.

Bai Tide is Bai’s greatest challenge yet. A mission that will take him from the windswept beaches of San Diego to a whiteout blizzard in the foothills of Pyongyang, and make him question everything he thought he knew about working in the field…and about himself.

Praise for Bai Tide:

“BAI TIDE is a classic spy tale with blisteringly original characters set against the up-tempo backdrop of North Korean-American relations. Erika Mitchell turns the Asian theater of operations into her personal literary playground for fashioning a no-holds-barred thriller that reads like a post-modern combination of Frederick Forsyth and John Le Carre with just enough Len Deighton sprinkled in for good measure. A thinking man’s, or woman’s, page turner that revs in the red from artful beginning to crafty climax.”

–Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of Strong Darkness

“Bai Tide starts with a bang, then escalates. An intriguing espionage thriller with a protagonist who’s a cross between Bruce Lee and James Bond, it was pure entertainment from the beaches of San Diego to the snow covered North Korea countryside. Devoured it in a sitting. I’m looking forward to more sleepless nights from Erika Mitchell.”

–Robert Dugoni, NY Times and #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of My Sister’s Grave

“High octane action combined with the slow burn of great, unforgettable characters. The kind of book that demands to be read in a single long burst. Almost impossible to put down. This one will be on your mind long after you’ve finished it.”

–Ted Kosmatka, 2010 Asimov’s Readers’ Choice Award-winning author ofProphet of Bones.

Review:

Now, my expertise in espionage genre is limited. While I love the James Bond movies (especially the ones with Daniel Craig) and TV shows like Burn Notice and Chuck, I’ve never really read any books from this particular genre. After reading this one, I think that is going to change.

Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. Bai Hsu or Alan Broccoli as he is called through most of the book (gotta love spy covers) isn’t some bad ass like Michael Weston or a ladies man like Bond (although he has his moments in both respects) but he is a highly trained, intelligent although relatively green operative. He hasn’t had the time or experience to make him as cold or as hardened as the depiction of most spies. He still has his humanity of course, sometimes that can be more of a liability than a virtue.

Bai Tide is pretty much non stop action although that statement may be a little misleading. I’m not talking all hand to hand combat, shootouts, and exciting chases… there is plenty of that but there is also a good depiction of the other part of the espionage game. The undercover work. As a phys ed teacher and volley ball coach at an all girls school, he is charged with keeping his eyes open and keeping his charges safe. The day to day task turns into a fact finding mission when he foils a break in attempt at a school function. It seems that someone may be targeting the children of a protected informant and there is also the possibility that someone within the school may be trying to sell a nuclear formula to the highest bidder.

In many ways, it resonated with me much like the most recent 007 movies- Like Casino Royale, it gives the story of how experience shaped the spy. The assignment that Bai is given isn’t his first, but it does have a tremendous impact on how he views his job and life. And if you have watched Casino Royale as many times as I have, you might catch a line in there that sounds similar to one delivered by Vesper. The other thing that made me think of this particular movie was the character of Agnes Schelling- for some reason, I pictured the headmistress to be much like Judi Dench’s version of M, the only thing missing was her making a threat on the agent’s life.

For me, this seemed much more realistic than other spy stuff I’ve seen. It wasn’t as flashy but it was extremely intriguing and entertaining. I can’t help but give this one a 10. The story was very well written- the characters were realistically crafted and the story flowed well. The variation in the settings was wonderfully done as well. I could easily picture everything from the sandy beach in San Diego to the snow covered forest in North Korea. I loved watching how things developed.throughout the story, the various twists and turns that took place and how they affected the characters. I think that Mitchell did a superb job in crafting a believable spy thriller and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

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3 thoughts on “Review: Bai Tide by Erika Mitchell

  1. […] To read the entire review (which is just music to my ears), click here. […]

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  2. Wow, such an incredible review! Thank you so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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  3. […] If you like James Bond movies, you’ll like this book. Don’t believe me? Read this review. […]

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