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The Fourth Sacrifice: 2 (The China Thrillers)

The Fourth Sacrifice: 2 (The China Thrillers) [Kindle Edition]

Peter May
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

In Peter May's first novel, The Firemaker, Chinese homicide cop Li Yan and American pathologist Margaret saved the world from deadly GM rice and fell briefly in love before the authorities parted them. When the fourth of a series of ritualised beheadings involves an American citizen, Margaret finds herself obliged all over again to work with Li Yan, whom she despises for choosing his job over her; and of course neither of them find the situation easy.

She was shocked by how Chinese he looked. When she had been with him almost every waking hour, she had ceased completely to see him as Chinese. He was just Li Yan, who touched her with a gentleness she had not known before in a man, whose eyes were soft and dark and full of humour and life ... Now all that familiarity was gone ... All she really felt towards him now was anger.

Complications outside the case involve the pursuit of Margaret by Michael, a glamorous television archaeologist, and the dumping of an unwanted daughter on Li Yan by his illegally pregnant sister while the case itself turns out to involve memories of a past everyone would rather forget. All of the victims were at the same high school in the sixties, and the first three were leaders of a group of Red Guards who drove teachers to humiliation and death. May is particularly good on the different ways in which that period's perpetrators and victims, often the same people, live with that past...This is an impressive and ingenious second novel--May is equally at home with investigation and with the lived experience of today's Beijing. --Roz Kaveney


A masterwork of sheer momentum . . . compelling (Glasgow Herald )


Stunningly original, highly topical and extremely well written (Scotland on Sunday on THE FIREMAKER )

'Fast paced crime thriller' Edinburgh Evening News

'Dialogue is witty and apposite' Scotland on Sunday

'Cracking pace...arresting debut...gripping tale' Newcastle Evening Chronicle

Intense and fascinating (Good Book Guide on THE FIREMAKER )

Is the book any good?The answer is a very's engaging, topical...and certainly qualifies Peter May as a name to watch. (Shots )

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 619 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312364644
  • Publisher: Quercus (14 Jun 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089XLFA4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,488 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

"Peter May is a writer I'd follow to the ends of the earth" New York Times

Peter May is the multi award-winning author of:

- the award-winning Lewis Trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland;
- the China Thrillers, featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell;
- the Enzo Files, featuring Scottish forensic scientist Enzo MacLeod, which is set in France;
and Entry Island (January 2014, Quercus UK) the latest of several standalone books.

He has also had a successful career as a television writer, creator, and producer.

One of Scotland's most prolific television dramatists, he garnered more than 1000 credits in 15 years as scriptwriter and script editor on prime-time British television drama. He is the creator of three major television drama series and presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland before quitting television to concentrate on his first love, writing novels.

Born and raised in Scotland he lives in France.

After being turned down by all the major UK publishers, the first of the The Lewis Trilogy - The Blackhouse - was published in France as L'Ile des Chasseurs d'Oiseaux where it was hailed as "a masterpiece" by the French national newspaper L'Humanité. His novels have a large following in France. The trilogy has won several French literature awards, including one of the world's largest adjudicated readers awards, the Prix Cezam.

The Blackhouse was published in English by the award-winning Quercus (a relatively young publishing house which did not exist when the book was first presented to British publishers). It went on to become an international best seller, and was shortlisted for both Barry Award and Macavity Award when it was published in the USA.

The Blackhouse won the US Barry Award for Best Mystery Novel at Bouchercon in Albany NY, in 2013.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping entertainment from beginning to end! 7 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I couldn't imagine how there could possibly be a sequel to 'The Firemaker' - but then that's why it's Peter May writing the books and not me. But the stunning opening, from the perspective of a man about to be beheaded knocked away any doubts I might have had, instantly. May took care of all the loose ends from the first book cleverly, and we were swiftly off on a completely new case with detective Li Yan and pathologist Margaret Campbell. The sparks continue to fly in their complicated relationship - making them surely one of the best detection teams around. And the setting of China - this time we went from Beijing to Xian - provides a fantastic backdrop. May's descriptions just take you right there... particularly to some of the meals! Check out the section in the Muslim quarter of Xian, where some ox livers crawling with flies on the back of a trailer are brought vividly to life. May manages to bring China's past to life, too. From the ancient times through the archaeologist's story of the Terracotta Warriors to the more recent past and some of the incredible events during the cultural revolution. The best thing is, he manages to drop all this in naturally, as part of the story and you find yourself understanding China better as a result. But above all, the story's the thing. May's plots are ingenious, and his characters are fabulous - simply gripping entertainment from beginning to end.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second in a great series 23 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This second of Peter May's great series of China stories is a great read. The reader is teased by the relationship between the 2 primary characters and the plot takes many twists and turns - an avid read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holds you from the first moment 21 Oct 2006
By Rose
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The opening sequence is superb. Heart-stopping. As the story unfolds, the pace and tension doesn't let up. May cleverly interweaves a historical story with the modern day investigation, painting a picture of old and new China. May's in-depth knowledge of China and the police force there gives a strong and authentic sense of place. And the characters who return from his first book in the series, "The Firemaker" continue to develop with further compliactions in their lives and relationships. The story is fascinating and moving as well as being a page-turning thriller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read 9 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book very much, I am enjoying all of the 'China' series and would recommend them to thriller book lovers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different with style 29 Oct 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm only 7 years behind the times but, eventually, I have caught up with Peter May in this second novel reprising his two central characters from the first novel, The Firemaker.

I haven't read the first and you don't need to in order to establish an empathy with Li Yan and Dr. Margaret Campbell. Better still, is the author's ability to bring to life some of the past history of China, from the Terracotta Warriors to the Cultural Revolution, both periods of which are central to the two parallel storylines.

The hunt for a killer or killers brings the two main characters together again and their interaction lends the story a great human touch as they both try to come to terms with their previous breakup. Muscling into this situation is a TV archaeologist falling for Margaret whilst Li Yan looks on in desperation. But life (and death) goes on which provides for an excellent look into the workings of the Chinese police procedures compared to the American way and a gripping ending as the killer is finally revealed - but not before shots are fired with fatal results. A great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free Chinese History Lesson 8 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Worth the read. Sets the scene beautifully. Gripping thriller with a free Chinese history lesson. Really makes me want to visit China!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars China Thrillers 27 April 2014
By marbee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Usual excellent writing. Couldn't put it down.China Thrillers have all caught my imagination. Hopefully there will be more to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read 24 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read the whole of the China Thrillers series, all very good.
Details of the way the police system works in China is clear and well explained, and the stories are not too predictable.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
see last novel in series for my comment Chinese whispers
Published 8 days ago by Leigh
5.0 out of 5 stars A Chinese cracker!
I can't put these Chinese thrillers down. Yet another brilliant yarn from Peter May.
Published 10 days ago by Stuart Platt
4.0 out of 5 stars Cultural Killings
This is a sequel to the first book in the series (The Firemaker)set in Beijing. There is a lapse of several months between the two stories. Read more
Published 11 days ago by talmine
3.0 out of 5 stars The jury is still out
I am not really quite sure whether I enjoyed this book or not as it wasn't quite what I expected. Having just read the Lewis trilogy and all the enzo books this was so completely... Read more
Published 14 days ago by julia line
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you guessing
Brilliant read again. The pace leaves you breathless and needing to know what happens next. I want to read the next in the series now.
Published 15 days ago by K
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good one
I love Peter May's books. My only problem with the China Thrillers series is the constant on-off relationship. Love the plots though!
Published 28 days ago by Andrew King
4.0 out of 5 stars Holiday reading
Having read The Lewis series by Peter May I decided to read The China Thrillers so this is the second book so far. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Biro
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
I like the combination of thriller and culture. I felt I was having a history lesson as well as understanding life in China, which is fascinating. Read more
Published 1 month ago by AMELIA CORBO
3.0 out of 5 stars Boring in places
Well I seemed to piece together the plot before the characters! Good start but I didn't find the ending at at tangible.
Published 2 months ago by SJJ
3.0 out of 5 stars getting predictable
If you read a lot of the same author, as in doing a crossword in the same paper each day, you get to understand how they think and write. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jonathan Margrave
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