The Beijing Blunder
The Beijing Blunder opens in late 1988 as the so-called “Decade of Greed” is drawing to a close. Of course, as readers familiar with previous books in Jay Perin’s One Hundred Years of War series will expect, greed itself is far from absent from the story. In fact, much to former President Temple’s chagrin, greed remains the one thing that will make “men admit to crimes they didn’t have the brains to commit.” And there are certainly a lot of crimes to admit to in this series.
For his part, having dedicated all his time and effort during the first three books in the series to moving other characters around the world like pieces on a chessboard while standing as the notional “good guy” in contrast to the duplicitous and merciless Jared Sanders, Temple begins The Beijing Blunder by being forced to admit that he was blindsided by the actions of stepbrother Godwin Kingsley, a former supreme court justice, toward the end of The Cuban Gambit.
Temple had thought that he and Godwin were working together to secure the formation of a network of oil companies that would enjoy a benevolent global monopoly under the leadership of Lilah Kingsley, only to be double-crossed by Godwin and his heirs at the last minute. While Temple thinks he has found a way to wrest back power, he is actually facing more danger than ever before, and his fate will have consequences that ripple around the world.
Part of Temple’s plan involves securing pardons and repatriation for Lilah and the Kingsley brothers, including her husband Brad, after they were framed for treason and forced to flee abroad. Yet, while Lilah is keen to return, her motivation is to destroy the network, not to regain control of it. The nefarious Steven Kingsley, who is enjoying his usurped power over the network, knows this all too well and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Temple and Lilah out of the way.
Meanwhile, Harry Sheppard is doing what he can to assist Temple in helping Lilah and the Kingsley brothers, despite both his own misgivings and the opposition of his family. In an effort to assist old friends, he will have to learn to trust new allies found in the most unlikely of places.
The Beijing Blunder is another globe-trotting installment in the action- and intrigue-packed One Hundred Years of War series. In fact, the book is so densely filled with characters, conspiracies, and controversies that it’s definitely a good idea to read the series in order rather than jumping straight into this fourth installment. From Lilah’s life on the run to Harry’s attempts to navigate the corridors of power and Steven’s desperate efforts cling onto wealth and influence, Perin has woven numerous strands of political intrigue into a coherent storyline that also moves the series as a whole forward.
As the various characters constantly waver in terms of who they can trust and how far they’re willing to go, the world around them moves up and down with the stock market and there’s no telling who is going to come out on top. One thing’s for certain though, as the Cold War draws to an end and the information age begins, there’s bound to be plenty more danger and suspense in store for them all in The Indian Defense.
|Page Count||468 pages|
|Publisher||East River Books|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|