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Right Nuisance Publishing, 12 March 2020. ISBN: 978-1-916446-84-7
In the first chapter we
meet six-year-old twins Tashi and Pemba.Tashi is small with an intelligent face and bright black eyes, Pemba is
broad and strong.Despite their differences in appearance they are the best of friends and the closest of
brothers.The village has been preparing
the monastery for an important visit and now the visitors are here with the
High Abbott and Lama Sonam.Seeking his
brother Tashi slips into the tent and there is Pemba sitting with visitors who
are asking him questions. Later Pemba tells Tashi, ‘I think they were pleased
with me’. But when Tashi awoke the next day, Pemba was gone.His body was later discovered with a broken
Lhasa detective Shan Lia Third
Class has been transferred to Tibet following her fall from grace. Previously
Police Supervisor First Class in Shenzhen, she finds her present position a
nightmare. Away from her chic apartment, cut off from her family and disgraced, she feels almost dead. Her old life is over and her future holds nothing.The news that Pemba is the
fifth boy to die of a broken neck in five weeks stirs Shan.She demands the autopsies of the other four
dead boys but is told, ‘They are not connected’.
As Shan attempts to investigate
the five deaths, she is told that her superiors do not want her looking for a
possible serial killer as it will only spread panic. If they didn’t want it
investigated why did Commissioner Zhi instruct that the body be autopsied?
Called before the elite
committee of the MPS (Ministry of Public Security) and the PSB (Public Security
Bureau). She denies their assertion that she has said that she thinks there is
a serial killer on the loose. She is told Tibetan kids die all the time. They
live in shit, eat shit, and breathe shit. Despite the waves of hostility coming
at her from the six members of the committee Shan perseveres but the outcome is
made clear by Tan Dao, head of the PSB – there is no serial killer. Do you hear
me? We are not in Shenzhen. We are in Tibet.
As the story progresses, we
learn of the pain of the loss of her husband Jian and of their life together.
We meet also the indomitable Fang Dongmei to whom Shan is related by marriage,
and with whom she now shares an apartment.And Fang Dongmei while not being openly hostile is not friendly either.
But then another young boy is murdered, and Shan can’t let it go, but in
continuing to investigate she puts her life at risk.There are spies everywhere, even in the
monasteries, Who can she trust?
Since working with a Tibetan in
the early 1970’s I have always been aware of the fraught political situation between
China and Tibet, reading his book brought its politically chilling and cruel
aspects sharply into focus. But it’s not all gloom for it’s also a beautiful
love story. Atmospheric, brilliant, eye-opening, and utterly gripping, this is a
fantastic book.I urge you not to miss
it. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett
Carverwas brought up on a dairy
farm. At 18 she headed for the bright lights of London and four years later
took a holiday in Australia which turned into a ten-year stay, working for the
Sydney arm of several major international publishers. Between jobs, she
travelled widely and adventurously: back-packing in South-East Asia on $10 a
day for nine months, walking in New Zealand, trekking in Nepal and riding a
camel through the Thar Desert are just a few of her travel experiences. Her
first novel Blood Junction won the
CWA Debut Dagger and was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best
mystery books of the year.