Who is Xing?

Geoffrey Button asks this question in Codename: Moneyman [File no. 1] after the assassin from Hong Kong has made her first appearance. The series main character—the man with no name (more about this in a future post)—doesn’t give him an answer.

Xing aka Mosquito aka Jackie is the character in the Codename File series about whom I am asked the most. She’s not always the reader’s favourite, but the fascination she evokes never fails to put her high on the question list. One of the questions that always comes up centres on how a nihilistic, ruthless killer can be likeable. The answer I normally give is sex appeal. Sex appeal may be as old as sex itself, old-fashioned even, but it’s an endless force aimed at emotion. The fact that Xing creates a sexual response in the main protagonist from their very first encounter despite him knowing that she’s an assassin and in deadly opposition to his mission underlines her allure and the power sex has over his reason. The relationship that develops between them plays an important part in the story’s progress and ultimately, its conclusion. An ending that is a surprise to many.


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