Friday, March 07, 2014

Mai Jia - Dan Brown of China

He's called the "Dan Brown of China," but mega-best-selling author Mai Jia (the pen name of Jiang Benhu) may be closer to John le Carré, who worked for the British Intelligence services MI5 and MI6 before writing his cerebral espionage thrillers. Mai spent 17 years with the People's Liberation Army, specialized in cryptology and telecommunications at the military academy, and although reportedly not a spy himself, worked closely with top-secret units. After retiring from military life, the Hangzhou-based writer turned to fiction, and with a series of hits that also spawned film and TV series adaptations, he rocketed to fame and is now China's highest-paid author. Available for the first time in English, his 2002 literary thriller debut, Decoded (Jiemi, 解密), tells the story of a code-breaking genius who fights madness as he works to unlock the secrets of a code written by his former mentor.
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