Killer Thriller
by Goldberg, Lee

A sequel to the best-selling True Fiction finds a hapless writer researching his latest action thriller in Hong Kong only to stumble on a deadly Chinese intelligence conspiracy to topple the United States.

That irrepressible scamp Goldberg is at it again. In True Fiction?, published earlier this year, he introduced feckless spy novelist Ian Ludlow, whose outlandish plots so intrigued the CIA that the agency hired him to spin more of them as training manuals for agents. This time Ludlow is visiting Hong Kong, doing research for his next far-fetched thriller. Shadowy Asians are trying to kill him, he guesses, because they believe he has discovered their plot to seize control of the U.S. The problem is, he has, if inadvertently. The pleasure here is watching Goldberg mock the thriller form while creating a first-rate one, boiling with chases, fights, sweaty-palm tension, snappy dialogue, and glamorous, exotic locations-this time, post-Maugham Hong Kong and its stunning outdoor escalators. It's really a sophisticated exercise in metafiction: commenting on narrative while creating it. The prankster lives. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

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