Snake Agent: A Detective Inspector Chen Novel

Overview


John Constantine meets Chow Yun-Fat in this near-future occult thriller! Detective Inspector Chen is the Singapore Three police department's snake agent - that is - the detective in charge of supernatural and mystical investigations. Chen has several problems: In addition to colleagues who don't trust him and his mystical ways, a patron goddess whom he has offended, and a demonic wife who's tired of staying home alone, he's been paired with one of Hell's own vice officeers, Seneschal Zhu Irzh, to investigate the...
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Overview


John Constantine meets Chow Yun-Fat in this near-future occult thriller! Detective Inspector Chen is the Singapore Three police department's snake agent - that is - the detective in charge of supernatural and mystical investigations. Chen has several problems: In addition to colleagues who don't trust him and his mystical ways, a patron goddess whom he has offended, and a demonic wife who's tired of staying home alone, he's been paired with one of Hell's own vice officeers, Seneschal Zhu Irzh, to investigate the illegal trade in souls. Political pressures both Earthly and otherworldly seek to block their investigations at every turn. As a plot involving both Singapore Three's industrial elite and Hell's own Ministry of Epidemics is revealed, it becomes apparent that the stakes are higher than anyone had previously suspected.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The shade of Charlie Chan hovers over Williams's entertaining supernatural mystery, the first in a new series starring Det. Insp. Wei Chen of Singapore Three's 13th precinct. In a near future that allows travel between Heaven and Hell and Earth, "snake agent" Chen finds himself in hot pursuit of ghost-girl Pearl Tang and the father who murdered her to protect his business of "supplying the souls of the virtuous to Hell." Chen is not only a crack paranormal crime investigator but also a licensed feng shui practitioner never without his compass. While the plot might have benefited from a few more action scenes and some martial arts, Williams (The Banquet of the Lords of the Night) provides a sleuthing feast for those with a taste for the exotic Orient. Agent, Shawna McCarthy. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597801072
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Series: Detective Inspector Chen Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Something Old, Something New

    The "old" is the rich and colorful use of Asian myth and religion in this smooth and easy read. The "new" is also the Asian myth in this very different take on the very popular modern fantasy genre.

    Detective Chen is a great hero, flawed and full of self doubt. His partner Zhu Irzh, a demon "vice cop" from hell with his own set of issues plays great as the concepts of "good and evil" are dismantled and rearranged.

    Looking forward to the rest of the series. Maybe as Nook books? Maybe? Hint, hint....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great start to a promising series

    I liked this book because it's different from the myriads of urban fantasy novels I've read in the past. It's different because it contains Eastern mythology, mysticism and religions. The setting takes place in Singapore (which earns bonus points from me, as this is the first book I've read with a setting there). Also, the story line is very dark, noir and very gritty. It's an interesting blend of fantasy and science fiction and by putting to two together gives you a unique world. I also thought it was interesting how characters can travel from hell, to Singapore, and back again.

    The plot itself is interesting. There's a lot of twists and turns and as Wei Chen investigates further into the mystery, he realizes there's more to it than just soul trafficking. There's also the second plot which involves Zhu Irzh and his case which takes place in Hell. I liked his plot more, as it had an element of intrigue and explained in detail the hierarchy of Demon politics and how they relate to one another. Zhu Irzh also provides the comic relief. Unlike Chen, his approach is more laid back and he provides a witty comeback every so often. It's a well written plot and interesting enough to keep you reading. The action is good and makes the pace go faster, not to mention the sub plot involving Inari was also really interesting as well. I especially liked the overall tone of the story. It's really dark and has a very 'noir' feel to it. The setting descriptions add more to the tone of the book - especially describing the humidity and heat in the city. It added more to the feeling of the story and takes the reader to the setting. So, it's like you're there following the characters.

    It's a great start to what looks like a really good series and I'm definitely going to continue reading it. It shows great promise and it looks like things could go really complicated with Chen and Zhu Irzh. I do recommend this to those that love Harry Dresden, and Felix Castor, but with an Asian setting and with a much more dark and grittier tone. Fans of urban fantasy should also get a good read out of this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Chinese Mythology Meets Inspector Chen

    In a mystery steeped in Chinese mythology, Detective Inspector Chen Wei is the go to guy for all things supernatural in the Singapore police department. Shunned by his colleagues, he is used to working alone. Still, he must work with someone, and Sergeant Ma was unlucky enough to be assigned to do the job. Mrs. Tang has come to Chen with a ghost photo of her daughter, Pearl, who had died and should have been frolicking in Heaven. Instead, she was a ghost, lost somewhere in limbo. Could Mrs. Tang's industrialist husband be involved? That is what Chen must figure out, but before he can even begin, Tang calls Chen with disturbing news. When he arrives at their mansion, Chen finds that Mrs. Tang has been possessed, and in spite of the department's exorcist, she doesn't survive the possession. Chen does meet Seneschal Zhu Izu, one of Hell's vice officers. Unfortunately, Chen's wife, the beautiful Inari, who is a fugitive from Hell, has now become tired of hiding on their houseboat. She has been exploring the markets with her faithful badger/teakettle. With each adventure, she risks being identified as a demon b the humans around her or worse by another demon. In fact, Chen helped her escape her unwanted arranged marriage with a high official in the Department of Epidemics bringing retribution and shame upon her family. In the meantime, one of Zhu Izu's patrons, the first minister of the Department of Wealth, Chen's relationship with his patron, the Goddess Kuan Yin is strained at the best. A man fully committed to his wife and work, Chen will follow all leads to their conclusion. He finds that he must follow the clues to Hell, a good thing, because his wife has been kidnapped to Hell by her once fiancé. How Chen and Zhu Izu ferret the extent of the conspiracy, how Inari finds compassion and self-sacrifice and thus gains maturity, is a story worth reading. Williams created complex societies with complex characters who you either love or hate and tells a story in this rich back drop worth reading. Five stars!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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