My wife had said, "You've got to read this book, it's brilliant!" but since I had gotten out of the habit of reading I didn't hold out much hope of getting round to it. I picked it up at 4.30 one afternoon and 9 hours later at 1.30 the following morning I finished it. I quite literally could not put it down! The story - not only a "Whodunit?" but also a "Why'dtheydoit?" pulls you in and will not let you go. The setting described so colourfully and in such detail that you could feel the heat and dust, smell the outdoor restaurants, and practically find your own way round Beijing. The characters drawn so skilfully and sympathetically that you NEED to discover what happens to them. The theme so scary, it may put you off eating certain food items forever. Wonderfully written, great twists in the story, exotic locations - someone has to make this into a movie! There must have been an extraordinary amount of detailed research in a wide range of subjects to create such a plausible plot.