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Death In Shanghai: Book 1 Paperback – Import, 12 January 2017
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About the Author
Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
When he's not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia.
- ASIN : 0263927733
- Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers; UK ed. edition (12 January 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 356 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780263927733
- ISBN-13 : 978-0263927733
- Dimensions : 12.6 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 484,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Having worked hard to create the sights, sounds and smells of his world, I think the author ran out of ideas for his story, and nicked one from an old ITV drama (Whitechapel, possibly, or Wire in the Blood). We even have serial killer italics! It makes the unfolding of the gross and pointless murders rather a severe letdown when you know that another gruesome death is just round the corner for no real reason.
The characters are slightly better, with Danilov as the outsiders' outsider - a Russian in the British colonial police. As you might expect, he is given the naïve sidekick with local knowledge; in this case the rather handy ability to speak/read some of the many Chinese dialects. It makes detecting crime a lot easier.
Very much good in parts. Like Shanghai itself.
The bodies start amassing & it is imperative they piece the clues together to prevent any more deaths. Some of it is gruesome & made my stomach roll but the descriptive writing is fabulous. It kept me glued to the page & I wanted to keep reading ‘just a little bit more’ in order to find out what happens.
Danilov was forced to leave his family behind as he escaped Minsk & has no idea if they are still alive .. he struggles with his emotions & relies on opium. Strachan is determined to make his dead father proud so there is a basis on which to continue this series (hopefully) so we can delve more into their complex lives.
Plenty of colourful characters populate the storyline & it is clear life in that era was not easy for many of them .. all-in-all a highly enjoyable book.
Thanks to the author & Jenny @Neverland Tours for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
I'm going to start of this review by simply saying what a fantastic novel the author JM Lee has created. In all honesty I can say I enjoyed this book immensely. Really this book has it all and more, especially as I believe this is a debut novel.
Set in Shanghai at the end of the 1920's the author starts this story when a body of a young lady is found on the so-called Beach of Dead Babies. As the story quickly progresses it transpires that all is not as it may seem. And with this you will see how the author effortlessly draws you into this tale with some fantastic but not over the top writing. I love how he describes his characters, not just the protagonist Danilov, a Russian Detective with more than a few problems of his own but also the sub characters. Really, they are all wonderfully described and the reader will find it so easy to get a picture of each individual pictured in his brain.
However, it's not just the characters who are well written into a great plot but the setting of a multicultural and vibrant Shanghai too is described to perfection. You really do get a feel for the character of this place. Also It is plain to see that this author has carried out his research well.
All in all this is a great book and I can't see anything less than the five stars it deserves and what’s more, I have got a contender for my best reads of 2016.
I found Death in Shanghai beautifully atmospheric and some of the descriptive passages were so beautifully written I had to pause for a moment to re-read them and give them some thought. I had no idea about the history of Shanghai in the late 19th/early 20th century and the influx the city experienced of foreigners. I found it intriguing.
Some of killing scenes were particularly gruesome and made me wince; pretty good going considering the number of these types of books I've read! It is not obvious at all who the killer is and it is revealed in a particularly ordinary way; so much so you can hardly tell it was coming.
The ending, for me, was a little predictable, but I fully appreciate there are only so many ways you can end a book of this type and most of them have already been done! I'm looking forward to reading book 2!