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The Lord of Death (Inspector Shan Tao Yun Series #6)

The Lord of Death (Inspector Shan Tao Yun Series #6)

4.5 8
by Eliot Pattison

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The Chinese minister of tourism has been assassinated on the slope of Everest. Shan, a former investigator from Beijing, must solve the mystery of the assassination to save the accused man, the only person who can help his imprisoned son.


The Chinese minister of tourism has been assassinated on the slope of Everest. Shan, a former investigator from Beijing, must solve the mystery of the assassination to save the accused man, the only person who can help his imprisoned son.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A] superlative series set in ethereal, enigmatic, long enduring Tibet.”—Booklist, starred review

“Eye-opening . . . stellar.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Publishers Weekly

Edgar-winner Pattison blends an eye-opening look at contemporary China with a traditional whodunit in his stellar sixth Tibet mystery (after 2007's Prayer of the Dragon). Shan Tao Yun, exiled after a career pursuing high-level corruption in the Chinese government, is arrested for the murder of China's minister of tourism, gunned down along with an American woman, Megan Ross, near Mount Everest at about the time an avalanche crushed a military bus transporting political prisoners. Though Shan persuades the arresting officer to release him from custody, he's replaced in the dock by Colonel Tan, Shan's only hope of rescuing his imprisoned son, Shan Ko. If he's to see Shan Ko again, Shan must clear the colonel by finding the real killer. The official consensus that Ross, a veteran climber, is still alive complicates Shan's efforts. Newcomers as well as those already emotionally invested in the resourceful and ethical sleuth will cheer him on. Author tour. (June)

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School Library Journal

Adult/High School

In Tibet, Shan, an exiled Chinese national, undertakes the difficult task of transporting a corpse over the slopes of Mount Chomolungma (Everest). For religious and spiritual reasons, the successful delivery of the body is crucial to the inhabitants of a local village. Shan knows that he must complete the mission if he is to have any hope of seeing his son released from the deadly confines of a nearby Chinese "yeti factory." Things go terribly wrong. While on the mountain trail with the corpse atop a mule, Shan is suddenly at the scene of a double murder as one of the victims utters her last mystifying words. Also, in short order he encounters an explosion, a landslide, and boulders blocking a bus carrying red-robed monks being held captive by the Chinese authorities. With Shan's aid, several monks disperse. Shots are fired, Shan is arrested for the murders, and the mule and corpse are gone. How the resourceful protagonist negotiates the minefield of villains and thugs, avoids death, and tracks down the truth will keep readers engrossed. But as good as the twists and turns of this thrilling page-turner may be, and as thoroughly as the main characters are portrayed, it's the superbly rendered background story of a nation under siege that sets the book apart. Teens will be struck by how completely and systematically the Chinese government has tried to crush the Tibetan people. And they will be amazed as well by how much strength the Tibetans have found within themselves, and in their deep and complex faith.-Robert Saunderson, formerly at Berkeley Public Library, CA

Kirkus Reviews
Step by perilous step, Inspector Shan gets tangled in another complex and sensitive investigation. Exiled Beijing Investigator Shan Tao Yun treks slowly along forbidding Mount Everest, fulfilling his promise to female diviner Ama Apte to transport a corpse. Comically officious Constable Jin, a native Tibetan now fervently Chinese, attempts to arrest Shan, who's spent time in a Tibetan slave-labor camp for murder, until Shan shows him how long the corpse has been a corpse. The complex tensions since the Chinese have taken over Tibet continue to play out when, after his encounter with Jin, Shan spies the aftermath of a bus accident on a road below: A score of Tibetan monks on their way to detention camps are suddenly free. Nearby, Shan finds a blond woman dying of a gunshot wound who whispers her last words to him in English: "The raven." Her apparent companion was a Chinese woman, already dead. Native curiosity prompts the veteran detective to unravel this mystery, and more urgent reasons raise the stakes: his reputation, recompense for the aborted mission and, most important, leverage with the Chinese officials who have recently imprisoned Shan's son, Shan Ko. Beginning with local Party member and VIP Tsipon and wise Ama Apte, he makes his appeal. A whodunit wrapped in a socio-political thriller, all the more valuable for its timeliness. Shan's sixth case (Prayer of the Dragon, 2007, etc.) is aimed at readers who savor subtlety and complexity.

Product Details

Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Inspector Shan Tao Yun Series , #6
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Eliot Pattison is an international lawyer based near Philadelphia. His five previous Shan novels, set in Tibet, have been critical and commercial successes. He won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for the Crime Writers' Association Golden Dagger.

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The Lord of Death (Inspector Shan Tao Yun Series #6) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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LynnHarnett More than 1 year ago
In this sixth appearance, Shan Tao Yun, once a top Beijing investigator, long exiled, pummeled and punished for his anti-corruption pursuits and his identification with Tibetan Buddhists, now lives as an outlaw (no papers) at the foot of Mt. Everest. Shan is bringing a corpse down the mountain on a mule - a sacred trust - when a police security bus crashes on the mountain road below. The bus carries prisoners, Buddhist monks seized in a monastery raid. Sorting out the chaos and aiding the fleeing monks, Shan spies climbing equipment rigged to cause the avalanche that derailed the bus. Musing on that, he hears gunshots further up the road. Two women have been shot - one a government minister, the other a famous Western climber. Shan, naturally, is arrested. But he's only charged with the minister's murder. No mention is made of a second body and everyone denies the climber is dead. Shan's execution will be swift; his organs harvested. Then suddenly the torture stops, his wounds are bandaged and Shan is freed. The sadistic Colonel Tan is arrested instead and though the man is Shan's nemesis he is also the only hope for rescuing Shan's son, Ko. Ko is in a nearby medical facility where experiments are carried out on prisoners. Only the colonel can get him out. Shan's investigation takes him into the camps and culture of Western Everest climbers, the inner recesses of mountain villages, the ruins of ancient Buddhist temples, and the horrifying corridors of the experimental medical facility. The slopes of Everest are wild and vivid and majestic and the Tibetan culture harmonizes with it. The portrait Edgar-winner Pattison paints of the Chinese is brutal. They are corrupt; without empathy or soul. The Tibetans, while some are suspicious, soured by grief, or hardened by injustice, are an all-round better, wiser people. But the story's complexity rings true and there's nothing like the fun of oppression to bring out the sadistic bully in people. Pattison has delivered another visceral, atmospheric, engaging chapter in the painful, dogged, principled life of talented investigator Shan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
In China former Beijing investigator Shan Tao Yun learned the hard way about being too diligent pursuing corruption in the highest levels of the government as he was not only fired he was exiled to a Tibetan gulag. An elderly wise-woman orders him to take a corpse across the state's highest peak Chomolungma because the Gods selected him. As he treks with a mule carrying the body, Shan comes across an overturned bus filled with outlawed Buddhist monks that was knocked over by an avalanche. Within moments, he hears gunfire. Two people in a car are killed; one is China's minister of tourism and the other blond American Megan Ross.------------ Shan is arrested, but convinces the investigator of his innocence. Soon afterward Colonel Tan is arrested. Shan was hoping Tan would intervene to rescue his enslaved son, Shan Ko from a "yeti factory" where workers die rather quickly that is if they remain sane long enough to die. Shan must find the killer to free his offspring, but the officials insist Ross is alive though she died in Shan's arms.-------------- The latest Shan Chinese mystery (see PRAYER OF THE DRAGON and BONE MOUNTAIN) is a superb investigative thriller because the strong insistence by officials and witnesses hamper the lead protagonist's inquiry. Ironically he is the last witness to see the woman alive, but his testimony is ignored because he is in official exile and to insure that Beijing is pleased with the results. Fans will enjoy Shan's desperate probe as he knows his son's mind at a minimum and more likely his life is at stake as no one leaves the factory the same way they entered; this indirect condemnation of Chinese manufacturing using enslaved labor to punish as well as undercut global competition enhances a great investigative tale.------------- Harriet Klausner