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My new novel Chinese Walls is a corporate thriller that takes the reader below the surface of life in ‘Asia’s world city’, exploring themes of intercultural relationships, personal integrity and the need for transparency that I have encountered in my professional life in Asia.

THE ILLUSION OF FREEDOM

High-powered business strategist Nicholas Powell takes up a position in Hong Kong as an advisor to one of the world’s leading banks during the handover of the territory to China. With his wife back at the spacious family home in the Home Counties, and his children already beginning adult life, Nicholas feels free to acknowledge – and act on – feelings he has kept secret for years.

He soon begins a clandestine relationship with Daniel, a Chinese manager at the bank, and in the first flush of romance promises him a new life in the UK.

After Nicholas moves to London with Daniel, first as an advisor to the Board and then as the prospective advisor to the Chancellor, complications set in. Daniel makes it clear he expects them to be open about their partnership. A powerful mentor shows increasing nervousness about Nicolas’ suitability for the top Government post. And Nicholas is haunted by a one-night stand in Hong Kong.

When the bank’s merger plans are leaked, and the media launches a witch-hunt, Nicholas finds he has become the target of speculation and censure.

As his relationships and career begin to unravel, Nicholas frantically tries to identify the forces he is up again and salvage what matters to him most – though the realization of what that is may have come too late.

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SOME 5* READERS’ REVIEWS

Highly Topical

Given the world’s current precarious financial situation, this book provides a fascinating insight into the intricacies of big banking, and is clearly written by someone who has been there and done that. Set in a world normally associated with high stakes, but not necessarily with intensely personal human dilemmas, it delivers page-turning drama even for those unfamiliar with the banking scene in both London and Hong Kong.” (Peter Moss, Author ‘The Singing Tree’)

More Than a Modern Morality Tale

Investopedia defines a Chinese wall as: ‘The ethical barrier between different divisions of a financial (or other) institution to avoid conflict of interest.’ The last financial catastrophe revealed that, at least in some financial institutions, the concept is honoured in the breach rather than the observance, but it is generally accepted, it seems, that in many walks of business life, financial, legal, accounting, Chinese walls are in concept a good thing. But are they so in personal matters? In the life, for instance, of a gay man clawing his way up the ladder of a conservative financial institution who has to hide his sexual orientation and the existence of his partner from his firm, to deceive that firm, in effect, in order to serve it? This is the question that David Price faces full on in his new novel Chinese Walls’ (Nigel Collet, Author & Consultant)