Summoning is a dangerous thing. To the old Buddhists, words were the most dangerous weapon of all.' Shan Tao Yun is a former investigator for the chinese government who once got a little too close to the truth. Now he breaks rocks in a Tibetan prison camp high in the Himalayas. Only the remarkable courage of the Buddhist monks who are his fellow ...
Summoning is a dangerous thing. To the old Buddhists, words were the most dangerous weapon of all.' Shan Tao Yun is a former investigator for the chinese government who once got a little too close to the truth. Now he breaks rocks in a Tibetan prison camp high in the Himalayas. Only the remarkable courage of the Buddhist monks who are his fellow prisoners give him the will to survive. But when a smartly dressed headless corpse is discovered on the bleak mountainside, Shan is forced to become a detective once more. And as he uncovers a web of intrigue involving a beautiful American mining engineer, Tibetan sorcerers, corrupt Chinese officials and the Buddhist Resistance, he begins to realise that far more than his own survival is at stake.
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Publishers Weekly, 1999-08-16 A venerable plot device?the discredited detective given one last chance?is invested with stunning new life in this debut thriller from a veteran journalist who clearly knows his exotic territory. The gulags of Tibet, where the Chinese keep the Buddhist monks and other locals they've swept up since occupying the country, also house a few special Chinese prisoners. Shan Tao Yun, working as a laborer on a road crew called the People's 404th Construction Brigade high in the Himalayas, was once the inspector general of the Ministry of Economy in Beijing before he was imprisoned for refusing Party membership. Now he struggles to survive his harsh new life, gaining spiritual sustenance from the monks in his brigade. The discovery of the headless body of a local official, wearing American clothes and carrying American cash, changes all that, as Shan is threatened and cajoled by the shrewd colonel in charge of the district into conducting an investigation. Col. Tan wants a quick and dirty job that implicates a monk found near the site, but Shan knows the man isn't guilty: more-likely culprits include other high-ranking Chinese and a pair of American mining entrepreneurs. To encourage Shan to come to a rapid resolution, Tan dangles the fate of the monks of the 404th before him, surrounding their barracks with brutal Public Security troops. Like Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko, Shan becomes our Don Quixote, an apolitical guide through a murky world of failed socialism. As his Sancho, Pattison has created another memorable character, an ambitious and conflicted young Tibetan called Yeshe, who can "sound like a monk one moment and a party functionary the next." 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. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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