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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Project GrandSlam & The Zhongguo Orchestra by Jos Ilagan is a political thriller with strains of religious themes. York Ryder is a photojournalist tasked to cover US Secretary of State John Berzowski’s diplomatic delegation to the Philippines. However, things don’t go as planned, and before they knew it, Berzowski is killed and there are bomb threats. Ryder was then given a new assignment: figure out who killed the secretary, locate the bombs, and make sure the killers don’t get a chance to kill anyone else. With the USA allies offering no help, Ryder works with the CIA and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency to figure out who did it. Turns out Hong Kong’s Kowloon Dragon is behind it all, and their next target is the President of the United States. The Kowloon Dragon has major plans, and it looks like York Ryder has to stop them before it is too late.
Entertaining from the very start, Project GrandSlam & The Zhongguo Orchestra opens with an intriguing scene and makes you wonder if Ryder is more than just a photojournalist or a government agent. However, it is also a nod to Ryder’s capabilities as a journalist and as a reliable protagonist for readers. The story is very complex and intriguing. Readers are always looking for the next clue, the next twist, and the next turn; however, they are never able to guess what will happen next. Author Jos Ilagan maintains the suspense of the story even when we know the culprit. You can never guess what will happen next and if Ryder will be able to get the job done or not. The characters are well-rounded, they have space to develop and grow, and this is all a reader needs from an author! Fantastic!