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Fortress Penang is a novel set against the Japanese occupation of Malaya in 1941/42, and the British decision to abandon Penang, its oldest colony in the region. This novel closely tracks the historic record. Tom Baxter, an M16 intelligence officer, finds himself swept up by a set of powerful historical forces, for which he and the British colonial authorities have little or no understanding, and little answer. One by one the pillars that sustained the colonial rule collapse, finally leaving Boxter a fugitive in what was once proudly knowns as the "Pearl of the Orient".