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"An exotic tale of Americans on the run across southern China...wonderfully orchestrated...

Poignant…riveting…great escape...

Verdant descriptions of China's countryside... This cinematic quality lends a romantic edge...

Ball does a fantastic job of describing the exquisite love that develops between adoptive families and their babies....

Ball's fastidious research and clear-eyed observations on adoption and Chinese culture are rooted in his own experience adopting a Chinese daughter. He focuses unflinchingly on what Westerners see as the tragedy of China's one-family, one-child policy and the heartless treatment of baby girls. This well-constructed novel won't steer Americans away from Chinese adoptions, but it will open their eyes to a challenging, rewarding experience."

--USA Today

A suspenseful, spine-tingling story of an American woman's attempt, against all odds, to escape a pursuit led by Quan Yi, a public security colonel as relentless as Victor Hugo's Inspector Javert and twice as ruthless.

Novelist David Ball knows how to keep you in suspense, even if you think you know how things will turn out. His depiction of the sights, sounds and smells of the Chinese interior evoked memories in this reviewer, who spent some time there many years ago.

China Run is a tale of courage, kindness, betrayal, intrigue and mystery. It's a page-turner.

--The Philadelphia Inquirer

David Ball makes this edge of the seat chase tale completely believable.  China Run is original, brilliant, and breathtaking!

 --Philip Margolin,
 NY Times-bestselling author of The Associate

"The Chinese government is not going to be happy with China Run....(but) readers should be just plain thrilled...

China Run is a 220-volt line to the heart...

Ball's knowledge of the Chinese police and military systems, the adoption system, Chinese crime and the villages and landscape are astounding.  I haven't read anything with this much detail since The Sand Pebbles.  And, yet, the detail is woven into the story line, played against the characters so well, with such a sure hand, that there is no drag, no loss of the realization where you, the reader, are in the country, in the story, or in the lives of these characters.

Fascinating characters...this would make a magnificent movie..."

--The Rocky Mountain News

"Ball explores the dark side of American adoption of Chinese babies in his compulsively readable thriller...A score of unforgettable characters...Much of the novel's strength derives from the author's remarkable evocation of Chinese language and Chinese landscape, whether it's in mud and monsoon or a beautiful monastery with beatific monks...Though the subject matter is delicate, this sweeping odyssey of action and sentiment set in exotic and gritty locales cries out for filming. "

--PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY  (starred review)

“Adventure packed… Ball excels at depicting the incredible beauty and inherent danger of China, as well as unflinchingly condemning the horror and tragic consequences of its cruel and antiquated one-child rule….
  Anyone ever involved in an adoption, peripherally or directly, will relate to the dilemma facing Allison Turk and in some way ask themselves: What would I do if a foreign government wanted to take my child away from me?

 …a compelling, heart-wrenching tale…


"Though quite different from his expansive debut novel, the new book is just as exciting, proof that Ball is a writer who grasps the fundamental importance of narrative...The story rolls along at a Hollywood pace....

The novel is often at its best when taking time to describe the landscape and people of China. Ball does an excellent job evoking that distant, and to most Americans, alien land.

The official China of David Ball's new novel is as morally bankrupt as the (Yangtze) river is polluted, and it's hard not to feel angry about the hideous consequences of the one-child policy while reading it. Allison Turk's deeply personal journey within a terrifying, alien world should intrigue fans of well-executed, thoughtful, popular fiction."


A thriller that has gotten in touch with its feminine side....Traffic in people -- and overseas adoption is to some extent a legal form of this -- is probably a bigger business than traffic in drugs, and China is one of the major sources of people, both legitimate and illegitimate. So, a novel about adoption in China is probably both inevitable and potentially topical.

Ball does a good job of portraying the moral ambiguity in rich westerners adopting babies from developing countries."


"Ball follows up his hit debut, Empires of Sand (1999), with an intricate tale of kidnapping and black market adoptions in China. Unable to concieve, Allison Turk and her husband, Marshall, have finally made the decision to adopt. After several disappointments, they have received a photograph of their baby daughter and are preparing to make the trip to China. A few days before they are to leave, Marshall becomes ill and is unable to travel. Allison decides to take along her nine-year-old stepson, Tyler, hoping they can use the time to improve their relationship. Once in China, they are kept virtual prisoners in their hotel, as Allison and other parents wait with their babies for final adoption papers. Informed by the orphanage that a mistake has been made and that their babies must be exchanged, Allison and two other women decide to run. Joined by their Chinese interpreter, they travel across the country with the police on their trail. This gripping, tightly woven suspense novel is for all public libraries.


When the Chinese government, citing "clerical error," demands that six American families waiting for the adoption papers they need to take their promised babies back to America surrender their precious charges, Allison Turk refuses.  With her young stepson, three other adults and three infants, she defies the powerful forces arrayed against them--including her own husband--to flee halfway across China and make a run for the American consulate in Shanghai.  This courageous but foolhardy attempt seems doomed to fail; escape seems impossible, especially in a country whose language, law, and customs they can't begin to comprehend.  One by one, all the fugitives except Allison and her little family are picked off, captured, or killed, including their unlikely allies--a tour guide, a fisherman, a gangster, a country doctor--all of whom are as vividly rendered as China itself.  Driving this riveting, compelling adventure story to its heart-stopping conclusion, Ball turns in one of the  most exciting thrillers of the season!

--Jane Adams, for AMAZON

"China Run would make a great movie."

--Port St. Lucie News

"A riveting page-turner of a mystery. However, China Run is more than that. It is also a voyage of discovery, one that takes the characters into unfamiliar territory, much of it inside themselves."

--The Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal

Ball writes evocatively about Chinese society and customs."



"His voice recalls, by turns, Michener and Clavell..."

                                           --The Christian Science Monitor

"This is a big book, full of incident...there is passionate love, rich writing, a vibrant sense of place, and much research, worn lightly."

                                                                --The Boston Globe

"The story never lags...Expertly told and leaves a lasting impression."

                                                          --The Washington Post

"Lots of adventure, romance and swashbuckle in this novel that cries out to be filmed..."

                                                       --The Dallas Morning News

"No Michener, this guy..."

                                                           --A reader from Amazon