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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping entertainment from beginning to end!
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...
Published on 7 Dec. 2000

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Good story, dreadful characterisation
This is the second in the China Thriller series and probably the last I'll read. The story is quite good but the main character - an American pathologist - is weak and shallow and clearly too young to be the super expert she is made out to be. Anyone with the gravitas and expertise that she supposedly has is unlikely to be as pathetic and stupid in real life and the...
Published 10 months ago by Zamgirl


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping entertainment from beginning to end!, 7 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second in a great series, 23 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Fourth Sacrifice: Yan & Campbell 2 (The China Thrillers) (Kindle Edition)
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 (London, England) - See all my reviews
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 Different with style, 29 Oct. 2007
By 
Michael Watson "skirrow22" (Halifax, England) - See all my reviews
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read, 29 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Fourth Sacrifice: Yan & Campbell 2 (The China Thrillers) (Kindle Edition)
Peter May once again embroiders a fascinating plot onto a rich canvas of Chinese history, both ancient and all too recent.
Those, like me, unfamilar with the acitivities of the Red Guards in China's Cultural Revolution will find some revelations shocking. While the love life of our heroine falls again into the realms of cliche when a handsome American TV star and achaeologist appears on the scene, the storyline is strong enough to sustain us to a theatrical climax.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love this series, 23 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Fourth Sacrifice: Yan & Campbell 2 (The China Thrillers) (Kindle Edition)
this second book in the china thrillers series is just as gripping as the first.
the insight into chinese culture and politial history, and the emergence of a powerful china is really interesting too. It is not dry and dusty but just a well written & carefully researched backdrop for the drama of the storyline.
can't wait to read the next one, always the sign of a good book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars China Thrillers, 27 April 2014
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This review is from: The Fourth Sacrifice: Yan & Campbell 2 (The China Thrillers) (Kindle Edition)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, 9 Dec. 2012
By 
Mrs. J. F. Roberts (South East England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fourth Sacrifice: Yan & Campbell 2 (The China Thrillers) (Kindle Edition)
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Cultural Killings, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: The Fourth Sacrifice: Yan & Campbell 2 (The China Thrillers) (Kindle Edition)
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. It follows the fortunes of the two protagonists, chief detective Li Yan and the forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell(from Chicago University), both professionally and romantically. The intervening months have done nothing to cement the latter aspect, and to make matters worse a third protoganist, a celebrity archaeologist, appears on the scene to further distract Margaret.

At the centre of the story (it is a murder mystery) are four men killed by decapitation. The motive(s) for the first three killings seem understandable but the motive (and the means) for the fourth killing seemed too far fetched to my mind.

The story features two events in China's history, one in the recent past (the Cultural Revolution) and one in the distant past (The Imperial burial featuring the Terracotta Army). Both these events are well described in Wikipedia.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The China Thrillers, 29 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Fourth Sacrifice: Yan & Campbell 2 (The China Thrillers) (Kindle Edition)
I have just finished the last of the China Thrillers. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the books. They are well written and completely absorbing, I couldn't put them down. I am not sure whether Peter May is going to write any more in the series but I would certainly like to know what happens to Li and Margaret.
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