"An exotic tale of Americans on the run
across southern China...wonderfully orchestrated...
descriptions of China's countryside... This cinematic quality lends a
Ball does a fantastic job of describing
the exquisite love that develops between adoptive families and their
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."
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!
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...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)
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?
compelling, heart-wrenching tale…
--The DENVER POST
"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
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."
BOULDER DAILY CAMERA
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."
ASIAN REVIEW OF BOOKS
"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
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
"China Run would make a great
--Port St. Lucie News
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."
Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal
Ball writes evocatively about
Chinese society and customs."
PRAISE FOR EMPIRES OF SAND
"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
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