Red roofed Shaolin Intelligence Agency offices and residence for the monks of Golden Mount temple (above) downtown Bangkok.
The CIA has an eye on the conflicts in Bangkok, which is bad for American interests. The CIA send Cat, a junior analyst to get intelligence first hand from their Bangkok operative. She takes notes as the local American operative shows her around. He doesn't tell her of his illegal gun sales to the local underworld. The next day a bomb goes off in an industrial suburb of Bangkok. Cat immediately goes to the scene.
She's thinking, this is great, I get to report on a bombing. Her enthusiasm is dampened by the seriousness of the scene, the side of factory building blown away, emergency crews attending to victims. She's surprised to see her instructor from her CIA Asian cultural studies class. He is helping the Thai police organize and secure the area.
Her former Teacher simply says, "Hello Cat," and then instructs her to take photos of everyone in the area, "Now." This begins a partnership as they investigate the team that carried out the bombing. Teacher wants to protect his students, innocent people, many from the countryside trying to earn a better living. Cat wants to be a star reporter, she wants a promotion to Analyst.
Chan, the man responsible for the bombing wants to scare the Thai factory workers and cause economic problems for the foreign factory owners. Manipulating economic and political environments is his expertise. His employer is an international Asian corporation.
To track down those responsible, Teacher takes Cat to the Golden Mount temple in the heart of Bangkok.
"This seems irrelevant," Cat says. "Are you going there to pray for help?"
"No," he says. What he does is introduce Cat to the underground Shaolin Intelligence Agency. They operate out of temples, disguised as religious monks. They have a network of computers and people supporting a connected intelligence agency; Asian style.
Cat and Teacher end up in skirmishes in Thailand before following the enemy to Taipei. Cat learns the enemy also has an intelligence network, as the Shaolin Agency informs her that she is on their list of known CIA personnel. As others get involved, resistance rises against Chan's employer.
Cat graduated with a Masters in Journalism from Washington, DC's American University. She's a Chinese & Thai mix, living in California.
I enjoyed walking around the temple grounds, and ringing the bells and gong of the Golden Mount temple.