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Paperback, 268 pages
Size: 17.8 x 11 x 1.9 cm
Published: April 2007
Price: HK$80 /
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Saudi Match Point
by Paul Ulrich
Can the Chinese foil a US oil grab
in the Middle East?
This topical spy thriller captures the
current turmoil of the 'war on terror' and weaves agents of the Chinese
Government into the plot, pulling the reader into a world of subterfuge
and shifting alliances which may well mirror tomorrow's headlines.
The story: A young China expert at the US
embassy in Riyadh learns a shocking secret:
the US will use a hostage crisis as a pretext to invade the Saudi
kingdom and seize control of its oilfields. Meanwhile, the daughter of a radical cleric is desperate to escape an arranged marriage. As she attempts to flee the country, her
half-brother becomes embroiled in an Al-Qaeda plot to drive out the
American infidels -- a plan the newly assertive Chinese are determined to
As the US and China compete for mastery of the
American diplomat risks betraying his country and a Saudi woman risks
her life -- but what price betrayal in a land ruled and divided by harsh
inside this book
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"Despite the book's
problems, its characters pique interest and the plot gains momentum. By
the late-going, it's an exciting “page-turner”.
Ulrich, who understands Chinese and Arabic, has rich experiences to
inspire fiction. For two decades, he toiled as a consultant (on economics,
telecoms and policies), bureaucrat, foreign-aid worker and software
entrepreneur. Earlier, he studied at Yale, Harvard and Stanford. His
background shows in the story.
Saudi Match Point leaves an impression of promise as vast as the
Arabian sands. In some ways, Ulrich excelled – in others, not so much. Do
his readers thirst for more? Yes! Will this reviewer watch for his name in
future? Absolutely!" --
Cairns Media Magazine
"What I liked most about
Saudi Match Point is that readers will probably gain more of an
understanding about the Middle East and the problems and vagaries
associated with Islamic militancy from these entertaining pages than by
wading through reams of copy and endless hours of network news bulletins
offered daily by the international media." -- Luke Hunt,
former AFP Afghan bureau chief, for
Saudi Match Point is now available as a downloadable audio book.
View the details, and listen to an audio sample, here: Saudi Match Point.
"Ulrich's story is clearly woven, possesses all the action of top spy
thrillers, and maintains admirable consistency. Further, while the cast
includes enough characters to confuse casual readers, the characters are
instantly recognizable as the story transports us from location to
location and culture to culture. Read this book for enjoyment, and you
will take away a new understanding of some of the newest forces affecting
the international scene today."
-- Bruce Cook, Reserve Books. Read the
Paul Ulrich discussed Saudi Match Point with RTHK's
on Naked Lunch. Listen in to the programme online by
clicking here and moving the slider forwards by 20 minutes.
"Saudi Match Point bears the hallmarks of a promising
writer of thrillers and those of a novice novelist in roughly equal
measure. Drawing on years of experience overseas as a consultant,
technician, foreign-aid worker and (self-admitted) government bureaucrat,
author Paul Ulrich economically and effectively
conveys the heady atmosphere and multicultural boiling pot of Saudi
Arabia. He creates colorful characters about whom the reader comes to
care, most especially a sheltered young woman whose plight, in a family
that adheres to ultra-strict Wahabbi Muslim teachings, is heartbreaking.
And he convincingly mixes real geopolitics into fictional situations."
-- Jon Sobel, Blogcritics Magazine. Read the
Saudi Match Point is considered "absolutely brilliant" at
Literary pundit Nury
"In terms of geopolitical value for money, Paul Ulrich’s new book Saudi
Match Point has it all: Al-Qaeda, the Chinese government, oil wars, a
high level US conspiracy, a hostage crisis and the battle between radical
Islam and modern mores."
Read the full item at
The Curious Diary of Mr Jam.