Anna Zordan #1: “The Chinese Visitor” by James Eastwood. Anna has a gypsy spirit. She is a girl who loves excitement, danger, and adventure. She’s accidentally on the scene of an assassination in a cemetery, of all places, when a visiting Chinese diplomat is murdered. As the police notice her, she is grabbed, but fights back, and ends up in jail. It isn’t long before a rich suitor bails her out; however, it’s done on orders from a high official in British espionage, who has been following the girl’s trail since her mother and father (British agents) were murdered. Once released, she finds a killer in her apartment, and in a struggle she kills him. Contacting Serratt, a British official, she thinks she’s heading for jail, but instead is recruited into British intelligence. Now she has a chance to do even more about her parents’ death.
The beginning was very similar to the movie, POINT OF NO RETURN (a remake of NIKITA, which I’ve never seen), in many respects: from the murder, to her jail time, and Serratt’s bringing her into the agency. Even to the music, except in PONR it was Nina Simone, in TCV, Anna prefers classic music. There is also a similar kissing scene between Anna and Serratt, as between Nina (Bridgett Fonda’s codename) and Bob (her government sponsor). But after the story truly gets going, all similarities cease.
There is enough action to keep the story interesting, though the author spends too much time with the enemy agents, and we don’t see enough of Anna Zordan. They do travel to different locations, and the final action takes places in a mountain hideout almost impossible to reach. There are three stories in the series, so maybe we see more of Anna in the next two stories. This first entry in the series is well worth reading, just for its similarities to POINT OF NO RETURN. A Fun Read.