This novel reminds me of early LeCarre, which is a good thing, because that is when he did his best work. Philip Mangan, a British journalist working in China, is approached by a man who tells him, "the night heron is hunting." Mangan mentions this encounter to a “friend” who works in the British Embassy. The “friend” then communicates this to his bosses in London who are definitely interested in pursuing contact. Mangan then becomes the contact for British Intelligence to the man who approached him. Everything goes nicely and then everything goes wrong. This is Brookes’ first novel and I enjoyed his exploration of relationships, his believable characters and his knowledge of China.