Monday, January 5, 2009

Catherine Sampson: The Slaughter Pavilion

I am an avid mystery, crime and detective novel reader and I love it when they take place in China. My long time favorite has been Chinese writer Qiu Xiaolong. Last year I discovered a new author: Catherine Sampson. Her first crime novel was Falling Off Air, then came Out of Mind, The Pool of Unease and now The Slaughter Pavilion. The books feature journalist Robin Ballantyne and private investigator Song Ren. The last two books take place in Beijing in a gritty world of corruption, murder, grime and deception. 

Here's the website blurb on the latest book, The Slaugter Pavilion:

"In Beijing, a man throws himself off the top of a building. Behind him, tied to an advertising hoarding, is a dead and frozen child.

Having earlier rejected the man's plea for help, Beijing private investigator Song (last seen in The Pool of Unease) has enough to deal with – Song's own father-in-law, soon to be tried on corruption charges, is found dead. Did he kill himself or was someone else involved?

But Song cannot forget the man and his frozen child. When he starts to investigate, he finds himself drawn into a web of evil that pits him against the corrupt and powerful. And in a country where justice is often for sale, can Song discover the truth before it is buried for good?

Read more about Catherine Sampson and her books on her website, blog and a recent interview. Catherine is a British journalist (formerly the Beijing correspondent for the Times) that lives in China. She has a sharp eye and lot's of interesting, insightful opinions about life and society in China. All of which makes her blog a very good read.

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