Friday, February 10, 2012

Basso for Hire - The China Gambit

Today I was going to post a review on the latest book I've read, which is Elmore Leonard's "Raylan."  Those of you who follow the excellent FX Network series "Justified" know who Raylan is, and those of you who don't, need to do so.

But that's not why I called you here today.  Wednesday afternoon on my lunch break, I was browsing through the Barnes & Noble on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, when a gentleman approached me and introduced himself as Allan Topol.  He then showed me a paperback edition of his latest novel, entitled, "The China Gambit."  Mr. Topol then gave me a little taste of what the book entails, and said if I had any interest in purchasing it that day, he would be happy to autograph it for me.

I had exactly $3.47 on me that day, and had left my plastic at home to avoid temptation.  I was not familiar with Mr. Topol or his works.  But he described a mystery/espionage/intrigue tale that now has me hooked, and I told him so.  He seems like such an excellent gentleman, too.

I then continued my browsing, and Mr. Topol continued on to his next prospective buyer.  I went upstairs and found another copy of his book, and for the next several minutes, yes, I did read through the first few chapters.

Oh, my goodness!  I will be purchasing this book after my next pay day.  The China Gambit is the first in a trilogy featuring ex-CIA officer Craig Page.  I'm not going to give you any more details now, but if you are remotely a fan of Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, or Frederick Forsythe, you need to acquaint yourself with this author's works.  His writing style is detailed, but not so much to drown you in it.  The prologue captured my attention right away, and it was with reluctance that I put the book back on the shelf when I had to go to work.

Allan Topol's website is  I encourage you to visit it to get more information on his titles, and then to go to your nearest brick and mortar bookstore and buy The China Gambit.

Alan Andrews

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