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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars16
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 14 March 2011
Brilliant A really good thriller which is a little different from the run of the mill crime books I read this book in two evenings
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on 6 December 2012
Whilst this book highlighted what is a serious and sick criminal trade the author managed to weave some light humour into the story line.
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on 14 December 2012
This book had long episodes where nothing really happened. I thought a bit far fetched at times and long winded.
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on 21 February 2009
Written as if with film or TV script in mind..... and could well end up as one of these. I liked the unusual view of the UK through Chinese eyes. I don't know enough about life in China to tell how true-to-life the characters were, but some of the attitudes of Chinese friends here in the UK were reflected in the characters' views. The plot shines the spotlight on unpalatable truths but includes in the mix some humour and hope. I'll look out for more of Simon Lewis's books.
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on 25 April 2008
What a relief to pick this up after ploughing through a staggeringly wordy Iris Murdoch novel. The economy of style and blistering pace made it bliss to read - effortless - and I'd rate it alongside my favourite US thriller writers. In fact, I never normally read British thrillers because I find they don't convince. This one does.
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First Sentence: Jian walked into Leeds University and handed his message, written for him on the back of an aeroplane boarding pass, to the front desk security guard.

Inspector Jian is a man of personal and professional stature in his native China. He receives a desperate call from his daughter, who is supposed to be studying in England, that sending him flying from his world into one completely foreign to him both in custom and language and into a world of smuggled migrants.

This book started so well. The classic concept of a "stranger in a strange land" should have been fascinating. It's a sad statement when the common element, which proved comforting for Jian, was signs for McDonalds, KFC and Nike. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for the story waned quickly.

For me, the characters are, for the most part, unlikable. The protagonist, Jian, is a tough, jaded cop. Only at the very end do you see some slight humanity and redemption, but it's too little, too late. The bad guys are very, very bad. The migrant worker Ding Ming, was the exception but, because of his circumstances, he was such a weak character I lost interest. Jian's daughter proved the most interesting but we don't come to know about her until near the end of the book.

Although there was a lot of driving around, there was not a strong sense of place. The book is very violent. In itself, I can deal with that, but there was nothing to balance or offset it. I also kept wondering where the police were. The lone man of vengeance may make for an exciting plot, but it just didn't quite play for me.

This book may appeal to those who like high-action noir, but I need a little more depth and dimension.
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