An entertaining little thriller from a great series.

“Full of evocative scenes in Hong Kong and China this story brings back great memories to those who may have lived and worked in the area. Bill Jedburgh is his usual, competent self; enjoying life but undertaking assassination contracts when the conditions and the money are right. He meets up with a number of old friends and colleagues that we have seen before in previous books in the series and the action carries on from there as usual whilst the detailed descriptions make you feel you are there too. Not a long read, but great fun.”

Another great coffee time read.

“We know that Jedburgh likes the good things in life, sometimes to excess. What we get this time is a straightforward and focussed linear adventure which provides interesting insights into the Chinese mind, and the machinations of the Chinese state. Jedburgh can be a cold blooded killer, but he does have a moral compass too. I would like to hear more of his back story – what did he actually get up to in the RHKP and before that in the British Army. Perhaps there are tales to be told?”


Fiction mixed in with fact

“I wasn’t expecting to find Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and the US Women Gymnastics team featuring as walk on parts in this book, but the authors seem to have had a blast fitting the plot around some real people. Bill Jedburgh escorts a sexy Chinese gymnast to the Olympics then goes on to New York chasing his old nemesis Lavender Daai. I like the way there is now a recurring cast of characters in this series. Not many thrillers will tell you how to vault, run an IPO, make a handmade suit, or describe what it was like to travel on Concorde, but this one does. The authors sometimes try too hard to make Bill Jedburgh like Jack Reacher, but most of the time the plot keeps you gripped.”


An Older Bill Jedburgh than we are used to

“The other Reliable Man novels are set in the 1990s. This one is set in 2007. Bill Jedburgh is older and seems mainly interested in going on holiday. Nevertheless he ends up mixed up with a coup and the usual intricate plotting means that he has to kill a lot of people and work out who is behind the problems being experienced by a former colleague from the Hong Kong Police. I don’t know anything about diving but the chapters about that seemed very realistic. The ending came as a big surprise. This is turning into a really interesting series of books. They are definitely getting better as they go on.”

The Reliable Man at his best

“This is probably the best read so far in the Reliable Man series. In fact every chapter is almost a complete short story in its own right. Bill Jedburgh is a stone cold killer, but he is a charismatic man’s man who is equally popular with the ladies. He is fiercely loyal to his friends, and woe betide anyone who crosses him or those he cares for. I read this book over three days, which is virtually unputdownable by my standards. There are so many unexpected twists and turns that you almost have to make notes! Highly recommended.”


This is really a meditation on the Hong Kong Handover

“The problem with having a City in the title of a Reliable Man novel is that it makes you think he will spends his entire time in that City. This novel moves from Hong Kong to England and back but it’s really about how Valerie Goldsilk (who lived there) feels about the handover to the Chinese of Hong Kong in 1997. Bill Jedburgh meets different people who each have a different perspective on what it means – business leaders, politicians, policemen, Chinese spies, former civil servants and ordinary Hong Kongers . The usual deft plotting (I’m assuming Julian Stagg provides the financial info about the City) and relentless sex and action leads to a cliffhanger on the afternoon of the handover itself. The English bits are good – pinging between London and Devon – but it’s in the Hong Kong chapters it really comes alive.”


A high body count for a short story.

“Another enjoyable read. This was a longer ‘Short story’ than we have become used to. After a snappy start the pace seemed to slow down. To me this almost felt like a synopsis of what might have been a much longer and satisfying read. The body count may have been five, although to be sure you need to read it for yourself…”


Is this the end for Theodore Scrimple?

“The thing about those former expatriate officers in the Royal Hong Kong Police is that they are an ageing and dying breed. Also, the trouble with a nemesis is that they keep coming back to haunt you… In this latest adventure from Valerie Goldsilk, Scrimple yet again finds himself fully and firmly in the sights of his arch enemy Wendy Shen. This thought provoking book cleverly weaves a plot around current events. It is an easy read and draws in characters from the previous Scrimple and Reliable Man series. There is quite a high body count, and it is unclear until the very end whether or not this might be Scrimple’s final outing.”

Gwailos, nui yan and ho do ma faan

“Valerie keeps the story running, ok a couple of wild cards and improbable scenes but fire bedside read she does a good job. Just wonder which RHKP characters she bases her characters on. Not always pissed, and chasing totty, in fact was and still is a great if not best Police Force around.”


Arguably Scrimple’s best outing to date

“This book pulls together so many threads from Scrimple’s life. From his early days as a young Sub-unit Commander in the Royal Hong Kong Police in the 80’s, through to his latter day accidental involvement in international affairs of the state. The two timelines work well, and there are unintended consequences for Scrimple from the former to the latter. This book works better if you have already read Valerie Goldsilk’s earlier Scrimple and Reliable Man books. For the price of a coffee, you get a great read which leads up to a gripping finale with a hint of more to come.”


Compelling and atmospheric

“I have grown very fond of the Reliable Man series. The perfect blend for me of tightly plotted thriller, well drawn characters, a hint of early Bond in Bill Jedburgh’s coldness and pragmatism, and the evocation of the Far East with all its promise and heat.”


A great read

“This book was a really great read. A funny, entertaining and sometimes cynical look at the lives of expatriate officers in the Royal Hong Kong Police. Having been there at the time, I can say that the characters are very, very real. Loved it. Want to see more from Goldsilk.”

If you were a young Bom-ban in the mid 80s there is a lot you will recognise here!

“This book is an easy read, and a good old fashioned ‘Whodunit.’ However, many readers may also find it fanciful, racist and extremely sexist. Having said that, if you were an expatriate Police Inspector living in the Hermitage in the mid 80s, there is so much that you would recognise here that you really should give this book a try. Virgin Soldiers was a classic of its time, and this book gives another good insight into a way of life and policing that (hopefully) no longer exists.”


The name is Jedburgh, Bill Jedburgh

“Former Army Officer and veteran of the elite Special Duties Unit of the Royal Hong Kong Police, Jedburgh is now an assassin for hire known as The Reliable Man. The body count is matched only by Jedburgh’s appetite for strong liquor and dusky maidens. Not exactly a role model, but of course neither was James Bond. Between missions, Jedburgh divides his time between Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong. This is an interesting and surprisingly accurate trip down memory lane for anyone who spent time in the Far East in the 80’s and 90’s.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *