Mandarin Gate-Eliot Pattison

Mandarin Gate
Eliot Pattison
Minotaur, Dec 24 2013, $25.99
ISBN 9780312656041

Former Beijing investigator Shan Tao Yun learned the hard way about being too diligent when pursuing corruption at the highest levels of the government; his reward was exile to a Tibetan gulag. Still in Tibet, which he love due to the people, Shan works alongside unregistered Buddhist monks as a government irrigation and sewer inspector.

Unofficially he thrives on protecting the Tibetans from their Chinese overlords like keeping unregistered Monk Jamyang safe from an egregious bounty hunter. To his horror Shan watches his close friend Lokesh shoots and kills Jamyang. They go to honor Jamyang by adhering to his wishes to treat every shrine as the last shrine. However Shan observes Public Security Bureau and People’s Armed Police at the site of a ruined convent. Unable to resist though he knows the consequences of his folly, Shan makes commentary on the homicide “scenes” of two mutilated males that he believes are Chinese and a shot in the chest Buddhist nun were posed together with her at their feet far from the site of their deaths. Shan knows he must solve the case before the PAP’s “green apes” viciously punish everyone in the nearby village turned into a prison camp.

The seventh Shan mystery (see Lord of Death and Prayer of the Dragon) continues to show the oppression of the Tibetan people especially when it comes to justice. Encouraged by PSB Lieutenant Meng, Shan returns to his previous occupation as he investigates the homicides but aware he must be careful with how he does so or face the reeducation wrath of Governor Colonel Tan. Readers will appreciate the protagonist’s latest albeit unofficial case.

Harriet Klausner

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