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Publisher's Summary

Chris Hutchinson is a man on the run. Imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, Hutch escapes from a British maximum security prison and starts a new life in Hong Kong. Then a ghost from his past catches up with him, forcing him to help a former terrorist break out of a Bankok prison. Or face life behind bars once more.

Meanwhile, the Drug Enforcement Administration wants to nail the vicious drug warlord responsible fo rflooding the States with cheap heroin. And decides to use Hutch as a pawn in a deadly game.

Hutch's bid for freedom takes him into the lawless killing fields of the Golden Triangle, where the scene is set for one final act of betrayal.

©1997 Stephen Leather; (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd

Critic Reviews

"In the top rank of thriller writers." (Jack Higgins)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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  • Story

A Great Find!

This is a writer with talent. In the beginning there seem to be a lot of disjointed events with no clear thread connecting them, but as the story unfolds, in extremely well written dialog, the pieces come together in a very exciting action packed fashion. The narrator is spectacular, the description of places, people and events as good as it gets and the story takes you on a very unique journey, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Myanmar, in cities and in slums and in the jails. This book is so good and unique that I do not want to give away any plot spoilers in this review by talking about specifics of the book. This is the second book I have read by Stephen Leather and as much as I liked the first one (The China man) this book has made me a fan of this writer.
If you are looking for a really surprisingly good action / thriller you have heard nothing about this is the one.
Highly Recommended!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • kate
  • 09-25-10

fast-paced criminal thriller

Having not read anything by this author before, I wasn't sure what to expect. This was a fast-paced thrilled set in the murky world of the heroin trade, spanning South East Asia, America, Hong Kong and Northern Ireland. Escaped convict Hutch's new life is destroyed when an old prison comrade forces him to break out another man from a Thai jail. Interwoven with the main story there are horrifying vignettes of the other criminal activities surrounding the drugs trade. This dirty, shocking world was brutally portrayed in the narrative.
Despite the majority of the characters being morally dubious in some respect, the division between the 'good' and 'bad' characters becomes clear and I found myself rooting for one side. I very nearly cheered when my least favourite characters came to a sticky end!
The characterisation by the reader was excellent and really added to my enjoyment of the book. There are so many threads and characters that the use of accents helped bring each one to life.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-18-11

Extremely enjoyable


The plot was good and while I often felt I had a fair idea where it was going next (and I turned out to be right), that didn't spoil my enjoyment because it got there with style. It was almost like you could see the outcome unfolding, like a sports event shown in slow motion, but you were left admiring the way it was achieved and not wishing the author had blindsided you with a plot twist.

I thought a large part of the plaudits for my enjoyment should go to the narrator, who brought the right amount of suspense without over acting it, and had a good selection of believable accents that drew you into the characters and brought them to life excellently. His portrayal of Billy Winter was excellent and he got across just the right balance of nasty piece of work with a silver tongue … a difficult balancing act.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Brian
  • 02-04-11

Brilliant

My first Stephan Leather book. Very pleased with it. Superbly narrated by Paul Thornley. The book takes you into the frightening prospect of being in a Bangkok jail, not very pleasant. Plenty of twists in the book.
Highly recommended.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sharon Frater
  • 03-08-11

Really enjoyable

A new author to me but as I love the far east I thought it sounded quite interesting and I wasn't disappointed. It was a fast paced thriller with qiute a few twists and a very satisfying end. I thought the narrator did really well with the various accents even if I did find his delivery a bit irksome at times. All in all a good listen giving a really good insight into the inside workings of the Thai justice system which I assume was fairly true to life.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Josephine Murray-Smith
  • 11-19-14

Fabulous listen

Would you consider the audio edition of The Solitary Man to be better than the print version?

I loved this book. It is exciting and kept me interested until the very last page. I have not listened to anything by Stephen Leather that I did not enjoy and I love Paul Thornley's narration.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Solitary Man?

The character of the hero.

What does Paul Thornley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His intonation is so personal and different that it brings the characters to life. There is generally a touch of humour in his voice that adds to the overall performance.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No but I looked forward to starting it again each day. Went for long walks so that I could get a good long listen in.

Any additional comments?

Stephen Leather/Paul Thornley. Match made in heaven.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Geoff
  • 08-15-16

gripping, and wonderfully brilliant!

superb characterisation, beautifully crafted with twists and turns a plenty! the main character is honourable and heroic, making you want to be like him, winning the girl to boot! all fine detail is well-researched to the author's credit, and i loved it! stephen leather's a genius!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Chriss Stringer
  • 08-24-11

Good plot

It took me awhile to get into this and I did restart as I lost the plot - but I think it was more me that the book. I really am pleased I did as it was worth it and the plot took several twists and turns that you don't see coming. Although I do feel the end was rushed and rapped up too quick - would have appreciated a bit more detail - but I did enjoy and really like this narrator - just love his voice

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Chancellor-Maddison
  • 11-06-17

Just as good if not better 2nd time around

Character development in this book is exceptional. Good well paced suspense laden novel. I read it for the first time 5 years ago, listened to it on audiobook over the last week. if you want a great read, lots of suspense, a few unbelievable twists and turns then this one is for you... highly highly recommended

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr.
  • 08-09-17

complicated.......

I usually like this auther but in this instance he has created a complicated story and leaps from one set of circumstances to another and makesit difficult to follow the story. sorry but not his best work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Fiona
  • 04-09-11

Excellent tale.

Good narration.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Remeny
  • 01-30-17

Paul Thornley

Paul always gives a great performance when telling the story. One of the best I have listened to.