I learned things I never knew about before. It could have been written as an amazing thriller and this is where the author falls short. All the elements are there, but it has been presented more as a political narrative than a gripping, suspense-filled story.That was a bit disappointing to me especially since the beginning seemed to be going down that route. Although the dryness of his tone is less engaging to me. But the complex story setout in The Chinese Spymaster is intriguing, and the tone does work, for the most part, to emphasize the nature of it. I would have liked to see a hair more warmth and subtlety to the characters, but the story itself is an interesting read. All in all, the premise and interrelated plot lines are interesting, well-constructed and researched, but the detached narrative style fails to fully engage the reader. Would be open to reading another of Hock Tjoa's titles.