Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: Mandarin Gate by Eliot Pattison

Mysterious Reviews: Reviews of New Mysteries, Novels of Suspense, and Thrillers

A Mysterious Review of …

Mandarin Gate by Eliot Pattison. A Shan Tao Yun Mystery.

Review summary: With such memorable characters and an often lyrical narrative, this truly intriguing murder mystery is hard to fault. It is, however, more than a little unbalanced, with not enough focus on Shan's intuitive deductive process and too much emphasis on China's abuse of the Tibetan land and its people. (Click here for text of full review.)

Our rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mandarin Gate Eliot Pattison

Mandarin Gate
Eliot Pattison
A Shan Tao Yun Mystery
Minotaur Books (November 2012)

Publisher synopsis: In an earlier time, Shan Tao Yun was an Inspector stationed in Beijing. But he lost his position, his family and his freedom when he ran afoul of a powerful figure high in the Chinese government. Released unofficially from the work camp to which he'd been sentenced, Shan has been living in remote mountains of Tibet with a group of outlawed Buddhist monks. Without status, official identity, or the freedom to return to his former home in Beijing, Shan has just begun to settle into his menial job as an inspector of irrigation and sewer ditches in a remote Tibetan township when he encounters a wrenching crime scene.

Strewn across the grounds of an old Buddhist temple undergoing restoration are the bodies of two unidentified men and a Tibetan nun. Shan quickly realizes that the murders pose a riddle the Chinese police might in fact be trying to cover up. When he discovers that a nearby village has been converted into a new internment camp for Tibetan dissidents arrested in Beijing's latest pacification campaign, Shan recognizes the dangerous landscape he has entered.

To find justice for the victims and to protect an American woman who witnessed the murders, Shan must navigate through the treacherous worlds of the internment camp, the local criminal gang, and the government's rabid pacification teams, while coping with his growing doubts about his own identity and role in Tibet.

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