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"Stunningly original." --Scotland on Sunday
"Highly recommended." --Larry Gandle, Deadly Pleasures
"A fascinating look at the new China." --Kirkus Reviews
A grotesquely burned corpse found in a city park is a troubling mystery for Beijing detective Li Yan. Yan, devoted to his career as a means of restoring the respect his family lost during the Cultural Revolution, needs outside help if he is to break the case.
The unidentified cadaver in turn provides a welcome distraction for forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell. Campbell, married to her work and having left America and her broken past behind, throws herself into the investigation and before long uncovers a bizarre anomaly.
An unlikely partnership develops between Li and Campbell as they follow the resulting lead. A fiery and volatile chemistry ignites, exposing not only their individual demons, but an even greater evil--a conspiracy that threatens their lives, as well as those of millions of others.
"Margaret Campbell, an American forensic pathologist, is doing a six-week lecture stint in Beijing. The last thing she expects, or is equipped to deal with, is a serial killer. Teaming up with a local police detective (with whom she had a seriously rocky start), Margaret gets a crash course in the many levels of Chinese society. This is the first installment of a series that has been very popular in Britain (six novels have been published), and it's easy to see why. Margaret Campbell is a well--crafted heroine, plain speaking and sharp witted, and her partner, Li Yan, possesses all the cultural graces and knowledge of Chinese society Margaret so sorely lacks. The author plays up the cultural differences and the odd-couple nature of their relationship, but he never gets too silly about it. It's a pleasure to be introduced to these two investigators, and readers will eagerly await the publication of further installments in the series." --Booklist