Tuesday 2 September 2014

Review: The Mandarin Code

Canberra, Washington and Beijing are locked in a three way tussle of high stakes foreign policy and cyber-espionage. When a body is found in Lake Burley Griffin, reporter Harry Dunkley chases an information trail through the backwaters of a minority government, political assassination, powerful egos and a quest for control that spans three continents. What he uncovers is a cesspool of conspiracy that has more twists and turns than a party room ballot.

The Mandarin Code showcases familiar Canberra landmarks­­; Parliament House, the ‘Kingo’ Hotel, the Australian-American Memorial at Russell Offices. It introduces the recently constructed ASIO headquarters and Chinese Embassy as well as Nara Park, Yarramundi Reach and the hike up Mount Ainslie, well known to Canberra denizens.

For those who think Canberra is a sleepy backwater, think again. If you are a student of Australian politics, you might be surprised to discover who’s really running the show.

The Mandarin Code
Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann, 2014
Fourth Estate
459 pp.

ISBN 9780732294575

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