Shanghai, 1928. The body of a blonde is washed up on the Beach of Dead Babies, in the heart of the smog-filled city. Seemingly a suicide, a closer inspection reveals a darker motive: the corpse has been weighed down, it’s lower half mutilated…and the Chinese character for ‘justice’ carved into the chest.
The moment Inspector Danilov lays eyes on the dismembered body, he realises that he has an exceptional case on his hands. And when the first body is followed by another, and another, each displaying a new, bloody message, he has no option but face the truth. He is dealing with the worst kind of criminal; someone determined, twisted…and vengeful.
Someone who must be caught….whatever the cost.
1920’s Shanghai is the setting where we meet for the first time Inspector Danilov.
When a blonde is washed up on the ‘Beach of Dead Babies’ brutally murdered, this brilliant thriller engages you from the start. Not one for nonsense and very set in his ways, the quirks of Danilov made him a likable character. He has an eye for detail and I imagine if you met him in a bar, he would be the quiet one in he corner just simply observing.
Death in Shanghai is an elegant read and richly descriptive. Our killer is classy, clever and not once did I guess who he was, in fact at one point I thought it was Miss Cavendish.
The reader really gets a feel for the location of this novel, the hawkers, the way of life right down to the smells of the cigarettes. I loved it. It is a cleverly plotted tale that beguiles, interests and most of all excites.
Getting to know Danilov and the rest of the characters is really quite a thrill and M J Lee’s introduction of him is fascinating, and with THAT ending I for one can’t wait for the next instalment.