Tiger in the Shadows by Debbie Wilson brings together spies, romance, and the persecuted church. Her world rocked by her fiancé’s infidelity and her grandmother’s cancer, Stefanie Peng travels to China in an attempt to free her grandfather, imprisoned for decades as an underground pastor. She doesn’t know that she’s walking into a trap set by a jealous college friend and Kong Qili, a master Chinese spy known as the Beijing Tiger. Stefanie holds the key to both her physicist father and aging grandfather, who Kong believes knows the whereabouts of the Brother, an elusive evangelist.
Troy Hardigan has been a family friend of the Pengs for eleven years, but none of them know that behind the smooth-talking salesman and jokester is a cunning CIA agent. Stefanie’s broken engagement brings him relief, but he doubts she’ll ever see the man she used to call “Uncle Troy” as anything more than a big brother. When he hears she’s in China working as a teacher under Kong Qili, he knows she’s in trouble and immediately heads for China. But can he rescue her from the jaws of the Tiger without blowing his cover and compromising US security?
Wilson expertly weaves vivid characters and thrilling plot, leaving the reader both breathless and moved. China and its persecuted Christians become real as their stories mesh with Troy and Stefanie’s. For dramatic international intrigue, faith so strong that even death cannot threaten it, and a deep and gentle love story, pick Tiger in the Shadows. -- Katie Hart, Christian Book Previews.com
The Beijing "Tiger" stalking his prey in China and the United States becomes the secondary focal point of Debbie Wilson's novel, Tiger In the Shadows. Uppermost is the heroine Stefanie Peng's devotion to her Chinese heritage and her grandmother, leading her to travel to the land of persecution where her life is in peril, but where she learns about trust and true love, having experienced the negative in those areas in her home country.
The suspense rises with the author's flexible use of each chapter's going back and forth from the United States to China and the characters involved in each country, so when Stefanie arrives in China to search for her imprisoned grandfather, the reader is most familiar with the area. The author displays an excellent grasp of Chinese culture and areas in China and she has obviously done her research on Christian persecution. She has made the characters and their surroundings seem so real that this reader was uncertain of the reality and fiction at times.
Stefanie Peng has been betrayed by her fiancé, finding that Roger was not the man she thought he was, she having brushed aside the concerns of her grandmother and others. Setting aside her own disappointments, she becomes determined to find her imprisoned grandfather in China to fulfill his ill wife's dire wish. A friend of the family, who has been enjoined in Chinese travel, seeks to help her, discovering that the "Tiger" is also against him and his company. Her lost love relationship develops a twist, and her forever love becomes apparent.
The "Brother" who risks his life to preach the Word of God in unregistered house churches is a major character, more so than Stefanie Peng's father. His presence illuminates the Christian persecution for the reader.
Debbie Wilson's fine attention to detail in every aspect throughout the novel makes this a must read for more than simply enjoyment. There is an intellectual stimulation not always present in fiction. I really wanted more development of the minor characters and believe there was a hurried effort to come to a conclusion.
Those who have a penchant for Christian historical fiction, believable romance, and intrigue will certainly find Tiger In the Shadows a wonderful addition to their summer reading list. -- Sharon I. Rideout, Christian Book Previews.com
Stefanie Peng abandons her comfortable American life for a desperate quest—gaining the release of her grandfather, an underground pastor, from an oppressive Chinese labor camp. But the “Beijing Tiger,” a Chinese master spy, stalks her every move; clawing for leverage over America through her father, a world-renowned physicist, and the leaders of the Chinese church. Only the courage of the enigmatic man who loves her can save her. From the labor camps to illegal union meetings, from prison to the underground church, Stefanie comes face-to-face with the value of her freedom and the cost so many pay for the faith.