Escaping the Triad by Jeremy Gadd
A superb historical novel with supernatural overtones.
The main protagonist, My Li, is a young man growing up in nineteenth century China, when that country was going through a period of economic and political turmoil and corrupt tongs or triads dominated day to day life.
My Li’s family falls foul of their local warlord and, before she dies, My Li’s mother arranges for My Li and his sister to join the gold rush in Australia – the Great South Land – where she hopes they will find security and their fortunes.
After the untimely death of his sister, My Li inadvertently finds himself in possession of an important talisman belonging to the Triad. Two assassins – or ‘Red Poles’ – are sent to retrieve it. My Li befriends an elderly, spiritually orientated Chinese who decides it is his destiny to accompany the young man and guide him on his journey.
In Australia, they are initially used as slave labour by the infamous William Macarthur, an unscrupulous squatter or land-owner. Evading the Red Poles and meeting an Aboriginal youth who assists them, they reach the goldfields. However, unable to avoid his pursuers and his fate, My Li learns he has to come to terms with life as it is – not how he would like it to be.
Jeremy Gadd’s ‘Escaping the Triad’ is a work of historic fiction. It tells how My Li flees his home in China to escape the Triad’s abhorrent justice. He boards the infamous ‘Dayspring’ and tries to hide on the goldfields from two pursuing triad members who have sworn to kill him.
Jeremy has used historical facts, some not well known, to bring authenticity to the story’s settings, characters and plot. With one seemingly inevitable conclusion the reader is taken through a series of riveting events, which, although strange, has the ring of truth that the diligent research provided.
I started to read the novel with the expressed purpose of writing this review, but after reading the first few pages the story took control and I had to finish before I could start analysing it. ………………. Peter F Pike
Jeremy Gadd is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and has worked in professional theatre in Australia and UK as an actor, administrator producer and playwright. He has travelled extensively including in outback Australia. Trips to the Gulf country, the Northern Territory and the Kimberley have provided inspiration and material for much of his writing.
Jeremy Gadd has had several plays produced, has published nearly two hundred poems, fifty short stories and written dialogue for a dance performed by the Sydney Dance Company at the Sydney Opera House. This is his first novel. It is written for young adults.
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