The Secret Empress is a fast-paced action thriller by author Frank R. Heller.

Action thrillers are always enjoyable, especially if high-octane reads with suspense and mystery are in the plot. In the past, action thriller such as Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, Jack Carr’s The Terminal List, and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan book series have captured our hearts and imagination. The good thing about action thrillers is that you can devour them in one sitting. The excitement and the sense of adventure are enough to have your eyes glued to the book until the last page. Modern action thrillers have evolved during the past decade, and today we are seeing several great narratives that are true to the tradition but are refreshing at the same time, as far as the rush-read genre is concerned.

The Secret Impress by Frank R. Heller

Frank R. Heller and his debut novel takes us to the Sleeping Giant, where a former CIA-turned entrepreneur Joe Wilder is trying to focus all his energy and attention on making his relatively successful bodybuilding career into a billion-dollar international health and fitness multi-industry. Despite the scars and trauma of being a field agent still haunting him in his dreams (nightmare about gunfires, screams, and the lifeless body of a boy he could not save), Joe is determined to put his past life behind him. However, before Joe can even take the crucial steps for his dream conglomerate, he finds himself facing bankruptcy when prices for his supply line from Chine suddenly increased. Joe decides to travel to China to seek a meeting with the ministry of trade. To his surprise, the deputy minister offers him a deal too good to refuse. Deputy Minister Wen Shu Xian wants Joe to arrange for her twelve-year-old son Charley to travel to America.

But things took a nasty turn when Wen Shu Xian was murdered hours after she met with Joe. Now considered a suspect, Joe Wilder must protect himself and Charley, who carries an important secret. The secret is so important that the deputy minister paid for it with her life. On the run in a foreign land, the former CIA-operative must use all his skills, wits, and tenacity to outrun and outlive China’s most ruthless criminal gang after him and the boy. With his life and reputation at stake, Joe must find out what the boy’s secret is and why gang men are after him. With the deputy minister’s death remain unsolved, Joe is also a target. Most importantly, with only four days before he can smuggle Charley to America, Joe and the boy must evade drug dealer, thug, and petty criminal who owes allegiance to the gang to stay alive. Honor-bound to a mother’s dying wish, Joe Wilder is determined to save his own life and ensure the survival of the twelve-year-old boy and the secret that he is keeping.

The Secret Empress is not your ordinary action thriller. Although there are elements reminiscent of recent works such as Brad Taylor’s Daughter of War, Mark Greaney’s Agent in Place, and the hit movie Extraction, which feature a skilled military man protecting a boy from corrupt cops and mercenaries, it offers a fresh subplot that readers must navigate. Set in mainland China, Frank R. Heller’s The Secret Empress features a culturally rich backdrop with details only the author’s rich experience and imagination can provide (Heller has over thirty years of experience working in and traveling China in the import business). The Secret Empress is an impressive and refreshing action thriller.

To know more about Frank R. Heller and his work, purchase a copy of his book or visit his website today.