Review 8: Petrel – The China Connection

People with integrity do no lie, cheat or compromise trust. By: Pam Petrel, Timonium, MD. May 23, 2003.

Will the world of the 21st Century revel in the joy of peace and hope for humankind or will it be brought down in a quagmire of despair, as world leaders are driven by the complexities of a fragile human nature?

Sacco’s book aptly raises this question through Matt Dawson, the investigator who is confounded by his personal struggles with the ethics of morality that his religion teaches and demands, with life in a world driven by unscrupulous foreign ideologies and with living in a nation whose government alleges to embrace freedom based upon a sound Christian ethic. Readers are titilated and captivated by alluring characters, some unsavory, as they move about, travelling up and down the I-95 corridor between Maryland and Washington, D.C. seeking to buy favors from certain Congressmen and to infiltrate various branches of the government.

Could some of these questionable characters hail from China? ‘Unthinkable,’ one might reply, but wait a moment. ‘What kind of infiltration and for what purpose?’ Readers find themselves wondering . . . Did Chinese officials buy access to American politicians willing to engage in lucrative business deals to use Chinese missiles to launch U.S. satellites? Did such deals enable the Chinese space program to move forward more quickly, jumpstarting their Aerospace program? Did certain corrupt Congressmen, through their powerful positions, sell the U.S. to these ‘political enemies’ purporting to save America a great deal of money?

These questions demand honest answers. One wonders about the ethics of certain statesmen as leaders continue to grapple with very real and frightening issues. The web of intrigue becomes more complicated as the international scene expands to encompass the world, as deals are made with powerful and influential corporations and their C.E.O’s, as men and women of unethical and questionable behavior are married into a world of corruption, murder, bias and illegality.

Could such unscrupulous dealings infiltrate other U.S. agencies besides Congress, or affect the most powerful leader in the world, the President of the U.S.? The answer appears to be ‘yes.’ It is apparent that American voters are challenged to a greater awareness in taking responsibility to familiarize themselves with the political views of their candidates by electing to office only men and women with integrity, who set high standards for themselves and their constituents. People of integrity who attain high moral standards do not lie, cheat, or compromise trust. In short, they cannot be bought and sold.

Sacco’s novel very clearly shows that candidates for high political office must be people who will not compromise their moral views! Dawson, in holding dear his religion, which embodies THE ONLY MORAL STANDARD in the person of Jesus Christ, is such a man. Matt, throughtout the novel shows us that one person can make a difference. Having gained greater confidence in himself after some personal setbacks in his marriage and family life, Matt, has rekindled his love for the Lord and is back on track after having done ‘the right thing’ in learning to forgive himself and his ex-wife. Now he can once again allow himself to establish close, warm personal relationships. When asked by his friend Jeff Singleton to track down Johnny Chou, a man of devious character, who could be of help to the U.S. government in unraveling dark secrets of political corruption, Matt does not hesitate. He is pleased to realize that Jeff trusts him completely, so he sets off to travel the world in an attempt to track Chou, who could be killed at any moment by several groups of people.

Matt, in desiring to assist his friend, places himself in grave danger. While on his perilous journey, Matt delights in meeting others, ordinary people like himself, doing their jobs well – people who have come to know and understand that work, grounded in sound moral ethics, can indeed make all the difference. The China Connection is a great book..

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