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Night Heron by Peter James 

A lone man escapes a labour camp in the dead of night, fleeing across the winter desert of North-West China.

Two decades earlier, he was a spy for the British. Now he finds Beijing transformed and crawling with danger – the fugitive must quickly disappear on its surveillance-blanketed streets or face death.

Desperate and ruthless, he reaches out to his one-time MI6 paymasters via journalist Philip Mangan, offering secrets in return for his life. Mangan is dragged deeper and deeper into a whirlpool of lies, as the secrets prove more valuable than either of them could ever have known..and not only to the British.