In One Kingdom Under Heaven, an assassin sets out to kill the President of the People’s Republic of China. But after so many hardships to reach his target, why did he change his mind?
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
This book tries to trick you into believing it’s a politician thriller, but it is so much more than that. A compelling social commentary set in the near future, ‘One Kingdom Under Heaven’ brings the darkest possibilities of contemporary politics into sharp relief.Laya V Smith, author of The Lumbermill
One Kingdom Under Heaven is the third book by Canadian author Alastair Luft. He published his first book, The Battle Within, in 2017. Followed in 2019 by Jihadi Bride. He is a veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and often speaks at events.
His favourite topic is:
“how violence begets violence, and the importance of discovering one’s passion.”
– Amazon Author Page
One Kindom Under Heaven is a political thriller set in the year 2029. It features China, a Navy Seal, and a murderous trek through the Taklamakan desert. It spans April to December 2029 and gives us a possible view of our political feature post-Covid.
One Kingdom Under Heaven – Summary
After China’s attack caused the death of his wife and son, Malcolm Kwong, ex-Navy Seal, set out on a mission. He wants to assassinate Zhao Guozing – the President of the People’s Republic of China. His mission will take him to the Taklamakan desert to meet with Ismail Khoja. The man who failed to assassinate President Zhao five years earlier. He needs his knowledge of the Great Hall and its underlying tunnels to reach Zhao during an annual Economic Work Conference.
From there, accompanied by his small team, they will continue through the desert. They plan to enter China at the crossing of the Torugart and Irkeshtam border crossings. After a few days of surveillance, the day of the planned attack arrives. Will Malcolm be able to complete his mission and escape with his life?
What did I love?
The author uses a unique structure for his narrative. The book consists of nine chapters, alternating between 18 December 2029 and 29 April 2029. The first six chapters have a considerable difference in length. The shorter chapters one, three, and five pictures the interrogation of Malcolm Kwong by President Zhao. The longer chapters two, four, six, and eight tells Malcolm’s story, but each is a different version. Chapter two starts his story and continues in chapter four. In chapter six, we hear Zao’s version of Malcolm’s story, and in chapter 8, the author adds details omitted in Malcolm’s original version. From chapter seven, all the chapters are longer, leading up to the climax – a finale hinted at through the narrative but still unexpected.
And not so much?
Even though the author breaks longer chapters into parts using asterisks, I’ve found these chapters tiring to read. The short chapters contain most of the action, while the longer chapters feature more background information (Malcolm’s story and the trek through the desert). Although the author provides interesting information about the desert, I would have expected more action in a thriller.
Should you read One Kingdom Under Heaven?
The narrative provides an insightful possibility of the political climate in the future in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. And we see how easy loyalties can shift within a political environment.
I recommend One Kingdom Under Heaven for readers of spy and political thrillers and action novels. Similar books are Cyber Storm by Matthew Mather | Quantum by Patricia Cornwell | The Jack Reacher Experiment Books 1-9. Also, read my review of Jihadi Bride by the same author.
In One Kingdom Under Heaven Malcolm Kwong change his mind about his target, and decide not to kill him. Do you think conversations with Ismail Khoja adequately motivates his change of mind? We would love to hear from you? Please share with us in the comments?
Follow Alastair Luft
6 May 2017
Text-to-Speech | Screen Reader | Enhanced Typesetting | Word Wise
Categories: Medical Thrillers
Trigger Warnings: Euthanasia | Marital Violence | Sexual References | Profanity
Hi! I am Susan
Welcome to my adventure
Why Read or Rot?
I have started reading at the age of four. I can remember how I often read under the covers with a flashlight when I was supposed to sleep.
During my early school years, we visited the library once a week. I couldn’t pick out my new book fast enough! By the end of the period, I would have finished it already, leaving me with nothing to read for the rest of the week!
Growing up, Fridays was the highlight of my week. Dad would pack the whole family into the car, and off we go! You guessed right – to the library! We were a family of readers.
In my adult years, I’ve developed a variety of interests like technology, photography, gardening and even writing. But reading was and will always be a part of my life!
Reading for me is like breathing. If I cannot read, my soul will quietly rot away…