The Red Turtle Project

Liang Weber, a beautiful Eurasian woman, inherits $500 million from Sing Han, her gangster father when his rivals assassinate him.  The Mandarins then come after her and her husband Sam, but she donates the money to a project which will ultimately transform Vietnam from Communist to Capitalist, from one of the world’s poorest countries into the newest Asian Tiger.  But the Mandarins have infiltrated the Red Turtle Corporation, intent on controlling it and Vietnam itself.

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The Red Turtle Project is an international thriller set primarily in Vietnam in the 1990´s. Liang Weber is a beautiful Eurasian woman who inherits $500 million from her recently murdered father, Sing Han, a Singapore billionaire whose fortune is based on smuggling weapons and drugs.

She and her husband Sam learn that Sing Han has been assassinated by a ruthless secret society called the Mandarins. Led by a group of seven Chinese tycoons, the Mandarins have become incredibly wealthy and powerful using murder, kidnapping and theft on a global scale. They are furious when they find out that much of Sing Han´s fortune was transferred to Liang just before they killed him.

After a worldwide manhunt for Sam and Liang, the Mandarins discover them in Vietnam, where she has donated her inheritance to the communist country, one of the poorest on earth, to transform it into a capitalist powerhouse, the newest “Asian Tiger”. This grand economic experiment is dubbed the Red Turtle Project.

Five years later, the Red Turtle corporate logo, a smiling cartoon turtle, has become the symbol of the country´s rapid improvement in the standard of living, an icon of nationalistic pride. Behind the scenes, however, the Mandarins gradually infiltrate the Red Turtle Corporation and are robbing the company through smuggling, stock manipulation, and other illegal activity. A reign of terror spreads, and anyone who protests against the crime and violence is immediately eliminated.

Finally the Mandarins´ real plan is revealed. They´re not merely taking over the Red Turtle Corporation, but the entire country of Vietnam. On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong, the bastion of capitalism and the home of the Mandarins, is reverting to the control of Communist China. The secret society is moving its base to Vietnam, to be feudal lords of the newly rich country.

Review from Amazon (read more)

 “The story is well researched and gives a realistic picture of the country and the how the forces of evil can and do frustrate the forces of good in a developing country. The book is well written and flows. I hated to put it down.”


Review from MWSA (read more)

 “Westenhaver demonstrates a deep understanding of the various subject matters he tackles.  His insights into the drivers of economic growth and the bases of modern national economy are profound… The Red Turtle Project is an excellent choice for those who like their tales more than one dimensional and enjoy learning from a good yarn.”


One thought on “The Red Turtle Project

  1. I fought in Vietnam as a young Marine for 13 hellish months. The day I rotated back to the U.S., May 11, 1968, was the best day of the entire tour of duty. If someone told me then I would some day return to Vietnam, I would have thought he was insane.

    While writing The Red Turtle Project in the 1990’s, I spent years researching the country. Back then there were few sources of information about post-war Vietnam, but I read everything I could find. I wanted very much to visit Vietnam to increase the authenticity of the novel. However relationships between the U.S. and Vietnam were still tense. Travelling there was complicated and I was busy working for a living.

    It was not until 2011 that my wife and I actually visited Vietnam, on a two-week vacation to Hanoi, Hue, Danang, and Saigon. It was perhaps the best vacation of my life. The people were very friendly, the food was fresh and delicious, and the countryside and beaches were enchanting. Everywhere we went we saw evidence that the country has improved immensely since 1968. Of course we also saw many reminders that it is a Communist country – but it is also embracing capitalism, much like China. The incredible improvement in the standard of living I had envisioned in my novel almost 20 years ago is finally taking place!

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