Prayer of the Dragon (Inspector Shan Tao Yun Series #5)

Prayer of the Dragon (Inspector Shan Tao Yun Series #5)

4.4 5
by Eliot Pattison
     
 

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Summoned to a remote Tibetan village from the hidden lamasery where he lives, Shan Tao Yun, formerly an investigator in Beijing, must save a comatose man from execution for two murders in which the victims’ arms have been removed. Upon arrival, he discovers that the suspect is not Tibetan but Navajo. The man has come with his niece, seeking the ancestral ties

Overview

Summoned to a remote Tibetan village from the hidden lamasery where he lives, Shan Tao Yun, formerly an investigator in Beijing, must save a comatose man from execution for two murders in which the victims’ arms have been removed. Upon arrival, he discovers that the suspect is not Tibetan but Navajo. The man has come with his niece, seeking the ancestral ties between their people and the ancient Bon. The recent murders are only part of a chain of deaths. Together with his friends, the monks Gendun and Lokesh, Shan sets out to solve the riddle of Dragon Mountain, the place “where the world begins.”

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the Inspector Shan Series

“Surprises and mysteries abound . . . [Prayer of the Dragon] taught me more about Tibet—modern and ancient—than I had managed to learn elsewhere over the years.”
The Washington Post

“I’ve seldom read a novel that more effectively captures the soul of its setting, in all of its contradictions, difficulties and beauty.”
—Nancy Pearl, NPR

“Nothing I’ve read or seen about how China has systematically crushed the soul of Tibet has been as effective . . . A thriller of laudable aspirations and achievements.”
Chicago Tribune

“A cocktail of action and adventure . . . A great read.”
The Guardian

“Shan becomes our Don Quixote . . . Set against a background that is alternately bleak and blazingly beautiful, this is at once a top-notch thriller and a substantive look at Tibet under siege.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“A rich and multilayered story that mirrors the complexity of the surrounding land.”
San Francisco Chronicle

Patrick Anderson
Pattison's plot is complex, at times bewildering, although he does wrap things up neatly at the end. In truth, however, Prayer of the Dragon is less notable for its murder mystery than for its sensitive and highly detailed portrait of two cultures in conflict…This novel taught me more about Tibet—modern and ancient—than I had managed to learn elsewhere over the years. It's not a novel for everyone, but for the patient reader who cares about Tibet and Buddhism and deplores their treatment at the hands of the Chinese, it's a powerful picture of courage in the face of tyranny.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

The discovery of two mutilated corpses and a comatose stranger on the ancient pilgrims' path up Tibet's Sleeping Dragon mountain throws former Beijing special investigator Shan into a quandary at the start of Edgar-winner Pattison's atmospheric fifth mystery set in Tibet (after 2005's Beautiful Ghosts). The detective and gulag escapee, who has been mysteriously summoned to the remote hamlet of Drango along with his lama friends Lokesh and Gendun, refuses to let the survivor be summarily executed for murder, putting himself and the equally outlaw monks in jeopardy. Shan soon finds himself with just days to delve into a deepening conundrum that hints at both modern corruption and ancient evil. Pattison fans will savor all the Tibetan flavor they have come to expect as well as an intriguing subplot exploring possible kinship between Tibetans and the Navajo. (Tony Hillerman buffs, take note.) Although first-timers may initially stumble over the abundance of foreign names, the journey, like the climb up Sleeping Dragon, soon becomes both frightening and unforgettable. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Investigator Shan and friends aid a Navajo visitor to Tibet who becomes entwined in a double murder in this fifth installment. Edgar Award winner Pattison lives in Philadelphia.


—David Doerrer
Kirkus Reviews
The Tibetan highlands conceal a serial killer in this fifth case from Edgar-winning Pattison (Beautiful Ghosts, 2004, etc.). His reputation preceding him, exiled Beijing Investigator Shan Tao Yun is brought to the remote village of Drango, a quaint mountain community in a time warp. A wry lifelong scholar named Yangke who calls himself a poet shepherd urges Shan to help the elderly lama Gendun off the mountain to safety. The outlaw lama seems to be near death, but Shan is struck by the strangely assertive society that surrounds him. At the foot of the peak known as Dragon Mountain, there are flags with blunt warning messages, "Keep Out" and "Danger." Even worse, near one stand of flags are clear traces of two dead bodies with their hands removed. But this is only the beginning of the mystery. Citizens are loath, perhaps fearful, to discuss several previous murders marked by the same mutilations. Opposition to an investigation is both overt (villagers openly disdain Shan's "invasion" of their lives) and covert (an avalanche of rocks threatens to derail the probe and kill the detective and his helpers). Shan finds politics, religion and history bound up in the solution. Stories wrapped around other stories brocaded with abundant local color and told with leisure and elegance form a heady literary tapestry-even if it's not to every taste.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569475348
Publisher:
Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
12/01/2008
Series:
Inspector Shan Tao Yun Series , #5
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
608,881
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Eliot Pattison is the author of eight Inspector Shan novels, set in Tibet: The Skull Mantra (which won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel), Water Touching Stone, Bone Mountain, and Beautiful Ghosts, Prayer of the Dragon, The Lord of Death, and Mandarin Gate. This series has been translated into over twenty languages around the world. A former resident of Boston and Washington, Pattison now resides on an 18th-century farm in Pennsylvania with his wife, their three children, and an ever-expanding menagerie of animals.

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Prayer of the Dragon (Inspector Shan Tao Yun Series #5) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In a secret lamasery high in the Tibetan Himalayas Sleeping Dragon Mountain near the village of Drango the monks summon former Beijing special investigator Shan, who lives nearby having escaped from imprisonment. He and his close friends Lokesh and Gendun are shown two mutilated corpses whose arms were removed and an unconscious stranger, who is not Tibetan, Chinese, or Nepalese lying nearby. The monks want to execute the comatose man believing he killed and eviscerated the victims. The former People¿s Republic of China detective convinces the monks to give him some time to investigate and learn the truth. He knows he must solve the case fast as every moment the stranger lives places the monks in jeopardy. Shan learns the survivor of the tragedy is an American Navajo who accompanied by his niece seeks the ancient ties between Tibetan Buddhism and his people¿s belief in Bon. As Shana and his two Lama pals continue their inquiries, the trio will soon be shocked by the evil connection between their ancient belief systems and the cynicism of the modern world. --- The Shan mysteries are some of the best written as the audience will feel they are on top of the world (see BONE MOUNTAIN, THE SKULL MANTRA and BEAUTIFUL GHOSTS). The investigation is cleverly designed so that the reader obtains a strong whodunit, but also a deep look at life in Tibet especially at a lamasery. This is another winner with the added bonus of the connection between Tibetan Buddhism and the Navaho religion. --- Harriet Klausner
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