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Table of Contents:
About Outfoxed: An Inspector William Fox Adventure by Peter Thomas Pontsa
Sometimes Inspector William Fox likes to go off script, like when chasing gangsters in his cigarette boat on the St. Lawrence River. For one case, the RCMP officer with a penchant for luxury fashion finds himself teamed up with FBI Special Agent Patrick Reilly, an Irish lad who prefers absinthe to Guinness. The pair travel overseas to track down members of a gang who have kidnapped Tracy Jordan, an American academic and archeologist with teenage ties to William.
In China, Tracy has been stealthily searching for evidence of Admiral Zheng He’s 15th-century connections to the area that would later be known as Nova Scotia. It’s here that Tracy and her team discover what might be Ming dynasty artifacts transported by Zheng He’s “massive treasure ships” left behind on Mi’kmaq peoples’ ancestral land.
Outfoxed — a William Fox Adventure is a slick, globe-trotting adventure that involves the RCMP and FBI chasing the Foo Dog Triad operating in Hong Kong, mainland China, and New York City. Like Tracy and Kevin Steptoe, a Mi’kmaq lawyer, the gangsters are after the ancient Chinese treasures. Outfoxed is also a political thriller, diving deeply into the power struggles of the Communist Party of China and its shadowy operatives. It wades into the Fox family’s political past in South Korea, where a tragedy took place that still haunts William years later.
I was compensated for writing this review. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and are based on my honest personal experience reading the book. Nor did the publisher or author in any way shape or form ever pressure me to give a positive review.
Outfoxed: An Inspector William Fox Adventure (which I will be referring to only as Outfoxed in this review post because the title is quite long) by Peter Thomas Pontsa is an intense action adventure novel that spotlights Chinese history and Canadian Indigenous representation. The story follows inspector William who teamed up with FBI Special Agent Patrick Reilly to rescue Tracy Jordan, an American academic and archeologist from William’s past who has been kidnapped due to her ongoing mission to uncover the secrets behind Zheng He’s expedition and its connections to the region that would eventually become Nova Scotia around 600 years ago.
As a person of Chinese heritage, it was very exciting for me to read a book that spotlights Chinese history, an area I’m fairly familiar with. The novel’s meticulous inclusion of elements from my culture resonated with my appreciation for the significance of Chinese history. Zheng He’s portrayal, in particular, really stood out to me because of how his groundbreaking sea discoveries and historical importance are often sidelined in discussions due to cultural biases. Witnessing his prominence in the narrative was not only gratifying but also a poignant reminder of the importance of inclusive representation.
Moreover, the authors also made an effort to represent Canadian indigenous communities. This further created a rich tapestry of narratives that added flavours to the overall reading experience and fostered a sense of connection to the wider world in the setting of the book.
The entire time I was reading the book (especially in the more action-dense parts), it reminded me of one of those Jackie Chan espionage action adventure Hollywood blockbusters. While Outfoxed was by no means written like a screenplay, the constant switching between third POVs from different characters and sides exudes a dynamic akin to what we often encounter in movies. It definitely created more tension, which is perfect considering the type of story Outfoxed is telling. The impression I got from reading Outfoxed was that if hypothetically it were to be adapted to a screenplay, it would definitely be easier to adapt than other books purely because of its writing style and storyline.
And finally, by far my (unexpectedly) favourite aspect of the book: the action sequences! They are very well-written because of how visualizable, fluid, and natural the sequences are. It’s one of the biggest contributing factors to why I felt like I was reading a movie when reading through Outfoxed. The action scenes are so good they actually are sometimes better than the dialogues in my opinion because of how nice the flow is. The dialogues are sometimes a bit awkward to read because they feel like dialogues instead of actual conversations.
Overall, Outfoxed is an interesting novel that uses historical depiction to heighten the suspense and action to a movie-like level. The combination of history, espionage, action, and adventure in this book makes for a decent reading experience. Definitely check it out if the premise seems inciting to you!
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