The Slightest Chance

Written by Paul Letters
Review by Viviane Crystal

Hong Kong in 1941 is about to be overcome by the invading Japanese. Dominic Sotherly is an Anglo-Australian servant with a double life. His wife Emily has returned to England and Dom, also called Max, serves the British and at times the Chinese. He falls in love with Gwen, who is a British nurse separated from her German husband, Klaus. They do nothing about it because of the wartime events happening faster than any can calculate.

The first portion of the story occurs in a free atmosphere of partying and connecting in the lavish Peninsula Hotel. The second part is about Max escaping and Gwen being placed in an internment camp. It turns out she is the only woman to ever escape from a Japanese camp. Meanwhile, Max has escaped Hong Kong but returned to help his Chinese friends, including Chinese Admiral Chan Chak, and other Chinese who are attempting to overcome the Japanese.

Thus, the reader gets a close look at the Battle of Hong Kong and is taken on the thrilling, fear-filled journeys of Max and Gwen through the city and far countryside outside of Hong Kong. Gwen also serves as the revealer of the horrors of the Stanley internment camp before the battle when the Japanese massacred dozens of British and Chinese prisoners. War is indeed hell, but this novel evokes the phenomenal grit and vivacious spirits of men and women like Max and Gwen. The ending is surprising. Enemies do indeed become friends and friends grow distant. The Slightest Chance is romantic, thrilling historical fiction, a great read based on actual facts of war, death, and survival.