Books

The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press

The Shanghai Factor

by Charles McCarry

“McCarry has been compared to John le Carré—but maybe le Carré should be compared to McCarry. The Shanghai Factor is certainly the best-written spy thriller you will read this year.” —Nelson DeMille

  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 304
  • Publication Date April 21, 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2128-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $15.00
  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 304
  • Publication Date June 04, 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2127-1
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $26.00
  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Publication Date June 04, 2013
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9330-8
  • US List Price $15.00

About The Book

The Shanghai Factor unfolds with compelling speed, propelled by intriguing incidents, well-drawn characters and authentic-ringing spy world aphorisms.” —Wall Street Journal

Following the hugely popular Paul Christopher series, The Shanghai Factor is the first standalone espionage novel from Charles McCarry, a former spy for the CIA and one of the best-loved American spy fiction writers.

A young American spy is sent to Shanghai to absorb the culture and language for a shadowy U.S. agency known only as HQ. While there, he meets a sultry and mysterious woman named Mei, leading to a torrid love affair. Soon the enigmatic head of HQ gives the spy a task that forces him to risk everything: go undercover as the American representative for a massive Chinese conglomerate and learn the secrets of the powerful CEO, who HQ believes to be involved with the nearly uncrackable Chinese Intelligence Agency, Guoanbu.

But the spy finds out that HQ isn’t the only one tracking his every move—and that his tryst with Mei might have exposed more than just his heart. As the line between friend and foe blurs, the spy finds himself drawn into a deadly cat-and-mouse game between HQ and Guoanbu that might not only end his life, but upend the very balance of power between East and West.

Praise

“Thanks to Mr. McCarry’s seamless style, The Shanghai Factor unfolds with compelling speed, propelled by intriguing incidents, well-drawn characters and authentic-ringing spy world aphorisms.” —The Wall Street Journal

“McCarry manages to lend nearly every line, scene and chapter in this beautifully paced novel with a force and energy that makes for the very best fiction about espionage—plenty of sex, deception, travel and some murder in these pages . . . you’ll want to read Charles McCarry’s smart and utterly diverting spy trade masterwork.” —Alan Cheuse, NPR

“An engrossing, droll tale of double- and triple-crosses, highlighting at times the more bizarrely funny aspects of spy bureaucracy.” —The Seattle Times

“[A] smart and sexy thriller. . . . The key to The Shanghai Factor is what makes McCarry’s other books work: understatement. . . . There is an understanding of the drama of a spy’s psychology as much as what weapon he carries.” —Mark Judge, The Daily Caller

“Charles McCarry has been compared to John le Carré—but maybe le Carré should be compared to McCarry. The Shanghai Factor is certainly the best-written spy thriller you will read this year. A perfect blend of sex, intrigue, exotic locales, and deadly danger.” —Nelson DeMille, best-selling author of The Lion’s Game and The Panther

“A highly entertaining tale. . . . The autumnal work of a master, looking back with no regrets.” —The Washington Post

“A compelling trip.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Meticulous, intelligent prose is the real star of this excellent espionage thriller from former CIA operations officer McCarry . . . this book is a must-read for genre aficionados and McCarry’s many fans.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] nuanced, devilishly intricate thriller . . . Meticulous plotting, literate prose and mordant wit make this a thriller for connoisseurs of the genre.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The Shanghai Factor is wildly entertaining and further proof that McCarry is a modern master of the genre on a par with le Carré and Robert Littell.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Charles McCarry is better than John le Carré. Which makes him perhaps the best ever. And this is his first long-form fiction in years. Excited yet? You should be. The Shanghai Factor is hypnotic, engaging, subtle, and deeply, deeply satisfying.” —Lee Child, #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Jack Reacher series, most recently A Wanted Man

“A modern day spy novel, with the feel of a Cold War era thriller, from a veteran writer who is considered by many to be the best in his field.” —George Easter, Deadly Pleasures

The Shanghai Factor is a brilliant espionage novel by the master of the form. It is also terrifying and astonishingly timely, dealing with the ominous threat of an undeclared—and victorious—Chinese cyberwar with the U.S.” —Joseph Finder, New York Times best-selling author of Buried Secrets and The Moscow Club

“Charles McCarry is a master of intelligent, literate spy fiction. And that is why I believe you will like, really like, The Shanghai Factor.” —Alan Furst, New York Times best-selling author of Mission to Paris and Spies of the Balkans

“Only someone who has been a player can write about the Great Game of Espionage the way Charles McCarry does. In The Shanghai Factor, we are lured, page by page, paragraph by paragraph, into a fictional Heart of Darkness populated by a succubus straight out of the Gehenna of our nightmares. A great read by a master of the art and craft of espionage novels. ” —Robert Littell, author of The Company and The Stalin Epigram

“Charles McCarry, the reigning grand master of American spy thriller writers, delivers one of his best novels in years with The Shanghai Factor, a compelling page turner that propels its characters through McCarry’s complex plot and reveals our real world of shadow powers better than most ‘factual’ reporting. McCarry captures the hearts and minds of the mere mortals we call spies.” —James Grady, author of Six Days of the Condor and Mad Dogs

“The lessons of old-fashioned spying in Charles McCarry’s latest work, lessons still in use, make for better reading than our front pages or online news flash. . . . [The Shanghai Factor] is written with literary mastery.” —The Washington Lawyer

Awards

A Deadly Pleasures Best Thriller of the Year
A Guardian (UK) Best Book of the Year

Excerpt

I read the contract twice and signed it. In the envelope I found a list of new wild cards. Also my e-ticket and ATM and credit cards on a bank different from the one I had been using. I was to go back to Shanghai tonight and go on as before, living the life I had lived, playing the amiable dumb shit, hanging out with the Chinese, absorbing as much Mandarin as possible, staying away from other Americans and Europeans, especially Russians and Ukrainians and people like that.

“Speaking Mandarin as well as you do, with your war experiences and the resentments they’ll assume those experiences generated, you’ll be a natural target, so somebody, even an American, may try to recruit you.”

With that Burbank gave me a searching look, our first prolonged eye contact, and backed out of the parking space. It was a silent ride to the nearest Metro station, a silent parting. No wasted handshake, no “Good luck!”

It wasn’t until Burbank had dropped me off and driven away that I realized I had neglected to ask what happened, what I was supposed to do, if he died before I did. He had transformed himself, I realized, into my only friend.