The Pale Tiger
The Pale Tiger by Mike Harrison delves into one of America’s greatest adversaries, China. The settings include Hong Kong, New York, and London. It is part police procedural and part thriller, concentrating on power and money that bring out the worst of people’s intentions.
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story?
Mike Harrison: I got the idea after reading an article about a near collision between an American and Chinese warship in the China Sea. Then I thought one day there will be a collision and wondered what would happen next. I am also very interested in the US-China relationship. The rising power grates up against the established power and does not end well.
EC: How would you define the Chinese American relationship?
MH: They both need each other, but not too much. They both aspire via each other. But neither side wants to push each other too much.
EC: How would you describe The Pale Tiger?
MH: A world of ruthless assassins and corrupt hedge funds. The stakes are infinite, and death is just another trade. It is a world without rules. It has a world of guns. It is a rumored plot supposedly written down in the Chinese archives to flood America with deadly opioids in revenge for the Opium Wars of the Nineteenth Century.
EC: Anne and Emma are not the typical type characters?
MH: Anne Perry is the London detective and Emma Wilson is the MI6 Agent. I did not want it to be too much of a police procedural. Also, I did not want Emma to become a female James Bond. I wanted them both to be flawed, not quite confident. They must face danger and must draw on their grit and courage. They have their own separate journeys.
EC: How would you describe Anne?
MH: She could be our next-door neighbor. She investigates a strange death with a link to a China hedge fund. Anne must learn her skill set, to learn on the job. She is an ex-schoolteacher. Anne can command a room and impose her personality. She finds fortitude and resources to deal with her profession. She meets Emma at the end of the story who is also investigating this conspiracy of The Pale Tiger.
EC: How would you describe Emma?
MH: Short tempered, stubborn, and impatient. She is mentally and physically resilient.
EC: How about your next book?
MH: It is titled, Two Degrees Fahrenheit. It features Anne Perry and Emma Wilson. It is set in the world of cryogenics. It is a science not real. The human body is frozen when the person is alive. Their vital functions go down to a very low level. It raises interesting moral and social questions.