The Provocative Espionage Novel by Victor Robert Lee
Cono is a startling young man of mixed and haunting heritage who has been gifted – or cursed – with an accelerated nervous system. An orphan and a loner, he acts as a freelance spy, happy to use his strange talents in the service of dubious organizations and governments – until, in Kazakhstan, on a personal mission to rescue a former lover, he is sucked into a deadly maelstrom of betrayal that forces him to question all notions of friendship and allegiance.
Relevant to our times, Performance Anomalies explores the expansion of Beijing’s imperial reach into Central Asia, and the takeover of Kazakhstan. Cono’s main adversary is a brutal Beijing agent whose personality has been twisted by the Cultural Revolution’s devastation of his family. Victor Robert Lee’s topical depiction of a Beijing government pursuing territorial expansion mirrors current tensions over China’s claims on the entire South China Sea.
Performance Anomalies travels from Brazil and Stanford to Almaty and the Tian Shan mountains, covering a tumultuous emotional landscape along the way. The fate of an oil-rich nation the size of Western Europe is at stake. So, too, is a hidden stockpile of weapons-grade uranium. The Beijing agent craves Cono’s suffering; a jihadi cell wants him dead. As the human cost of his mission escalates, Cono realizes that he must turn his strange talents toward higher deeds in the future – if by his guile he can survive the explosive present.
Praise for Performance Anomalies:
“A thoroughly original work of fiction.”
— Mark Schreiber, The Japan Times
“A great adventure and the beginning of a new hero.”
— Ed Jones, KBEM
“Move over James Bond and Mr. Bourne, make room for Cono.”
— Penny Seibert, KOGA Midwest Opinions
“A superb piece of writing” with “a hero who I’m hoping is going to be a series character.”
— Roger Nichols, Gorge News Center
“A tremendous first novel.”
— Steve Hexom, KBUR Morning Show
“Absolutely intriguing. A great, great book … Cono just really grabs you.”
— Nolan Crowell, KWYK
“The writing is sumptuous and describes Kazakhstan well.”
“Original, un-put-down-able, definitely not your typical espionage thriller.”
— Michelle Martin, Singapore’s Best of Talking Books