Whew! Yesterday I got to type the final two words in my Red Phoenix manuscript… “The End!”
There’s still quite a bit of work to be done, of course. Editing, proofing, publishing… But for now, the heavy lifting is done. And that means it’s time to present the third and final location report for Caine’s adventure across China:
After evading authorities in Beijing, Caine and his friends attempt to travel to Hong Kong using China’s advanced high-speed rail system. Like similar trains in Europe and Japan, China’s high-speed rail lines are engineering marvels, capable of traveling at speeds in excess of 250 kmph. Some of the newer trains contain sleeper berths, dining cars, and even Wi-Fi hubs.
Of course, when your list of enemies includes China’s Ministry of State Security, the American NSA, and a secretive Triad crime family, your travel may not go as planned. Caine is forced to make a slight detour and finds himself in one of China’s polluted Cancer Villages.
The bleak, desolate town of Huagu is a fictional creation, but it is based on real locations such as Yanglingang, Hangzhou, and other small towns and villages. Lax or non-existent environmental regulations in these areas have allowed factories and corporations to pollute the water and air to such an extent that residents suffer cancer, birth defects, and other illnesses at rates that exceed the national average by a vast margin.
Leaving the tiny village of Huagu behind, Caine next travels to one of the most spectacular cities in the world, and the most populous city in China: Shanghai!
Shanghai has been describes as the “Showpiece” of China’s booming economy. The city reinvents itself on a daily basis, and the amount of construction within its borders is astounding. This definitely has an impact on Caine’s mission, as he finds himself involved in a fight to the death onboard a WTW 220E… one of the largest dump trucks in the world!
Just look at that thing! Here is a picture of a similar model, parked next to an SUV, to give a sense of scale:
As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to work it into the story somehow!
Later, Caine and a friend travel beneath the Huang Pu River by way of the Bund Sightseeing tunnel. This colorful attraction makes use of magnetically levitated cars, and takes passengers on a short ride through a psychedelic light show complete with trippy electronic music.
Caine’s final destination: One of the most famous buildings in Shanghai’s distinctive skyline, the Oriental Pearl Tower.
This unique structure was completed in 1994, and its distinctive spheres were supposedly inspired by a Tang Dynasty poem. Caine visits the arcade in the lower sphere, where he finds some unlikely assistance for his dangerous mission. (Special shout-out to Samuel, from the Orion Team group @ Good Reads, for suggesting this awesome, hidden location!)
And that’s a wrap… of course there are a few more locations and scenes in the book, but I have to save some surprises for the readers!
China is a vast, beautiful country, with a rich and varied cultural history. I could write ten books set there and still not run out of fascinating places to visit and explore. Stunning temples, lost cities, bustling night markets… the possibilities are endless, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Caine or one of his associates makes another trip there in the near future.
Red Phoenix will be out soon, but in the meantime, you can check out the first two books in the series, Devil’s Due, and Tokyo Black. They’re both in Kindle Unlimited, and Devil’s Due is available on Audible as well.
Where would you like to see Caine visit in future adventures? I’d love to hear your thoughts… please let me know in the comments section below!