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4.6 out of 5 stars165
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 15 March 2004
Chinese Whispers has all the ingredients for an exiting mystery/adventure story, but Peter May's China thrillers always deliver much more than that. They're beautifully written, the characters and the Chinese locations really come to life. This is the sixth book in this series about Beijing Detective Li Yan and Margaret Campbell, his partner and a pathologist from Chicago. You can start with this one if you haven't read the others, and you'll still enjoy it, although I'm sure you'll want to go back to the first book, The Firemaker, and get to know the characters from the start. Following the turbulent relationship between Li Yan and Margaret as it developes through the series has been one of the best things about the books. I can't wait for the next one!
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on 17 August 2005
Peter May's thrillers mainly set in present-day China are a refreshing read that usually offer more than a twist or two. Chinese Whispers is no exception. The story revolves around the hunt for a murderer who appears to be copying the horrific crimes of the Victorian Jack the Ripper. The two main characters are the Chinese detective Li Yan and American forensic scientist Margaret Campbell and both their work and personal relationships are intertwinned in the unravelling of the plot. You not only get a crackingly good thriller read but also an insight in Chinese life - a country and culture that is still mainly unknown in Europe. The different ways the police approaches in USA and China are compared and contrasted adds to the enjoyment of Pet May's novels. Chinese Whispers contains some graphic desription of the injuries to the murder victims but it isn't gratuitous. It's hard to say too much without spoiling the story but I can't wait for the next in this particular series. Any filmmakers out there - these books are so visual they ought to be snapped up
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on 17 March 2013
This 6th book is even more compulsive than the other 5! I couldn't put it down yet didn't want it to finish as I knew there wasn't a 7th book. I have followed the troubled relationship of the 2 main characters and feel I know their personalities, such is the effect of the style of writing of the author. I sometimes found the description of the scenery a little flowery and over the top for my tastes, but this was the case with The Lewis Trilogy too and didn't put me off trying the China Thrillers thankfully. Anyone who likes thrillers, detective thrillers in particular, with a bit of history and foreign culture will love this. A cracking read and I am sad there is no book 7.
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on 5 January 2010
Li Yan, the head of Beijing's serious crime squad, is under the spotlight. His bosses, the media and the public are all demanding answers. A serial killer, calling himself the Beijing Ripper, is copying the murders of the 19th century Jack the Ripper. Any hope of keeping the murders out of the media spotlight ends when a visiting Chinese-American professor is murdered. When American pathologist Margaret Campbell (who is Li Yan's partner and the mother of his son) is invited to perform this autopsy, the results are not what the investigation was anticipating.

Li Yan is also receiving personal letters from the killer, and his life, family and career are under threat. It seems like the killer may have a vendetta against Li Yan and he begins to suspect that someone in the police department is the killer. Unfortunately, Li Yan is fired from his job before he can finish his investigation, which leads him to investigate `unofficially'. Will Li Yan be able to catch the murderer, and prevent more deaths?

This is the sixth novel in a series: I've added the others to my `rainy day' reading list. While I suspect it is preferable to read the novels in order to fully appreciate the characters, this didn't prevent me from enjoying this fast paced and at times quite gruesome novel.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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on 8 June 2013
I have found Peter May and it's wonderful. I started with 'The Lewis man trilogy', and just loved the descriptions and the suspense of the story. I then went onto the China Thrillers and have recommended them to all my family and friends. I have visited Bejing and wish I had read these books before I went. his knowledge of China and the traditions there is incredible and so fascinating. Combine that with a thriller, and the personality of a very traditional Chinese detective and a over emotional, American phorensic scientist and its just brilliant. I can't go on enough about these books and I guarantee once you have started reading Peter May, then you will be a fan. he is so under-rated here in the Uk. I have just started his Enzo books, I hope he keeps writing.
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on 9 July 2004
Although I have never read any of the other books in this series, I found that I could pick the story up with ease. A killer is replicating Jack the Ripper and Section One chief Li Yan is on a race against time to catch the killer. Really fast-paced and I have to confess sometimes un-putdownable, this kept me glued from start to finish. Some of the descriptions were a bit gory, but I felt necessary to the plotline. The killer was a bit of a surprise and I felt that the ending was a bit more subdued than the fast pace of the rest of the book. A jolly good read though!
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on 2 October 2015
Li Yan new menace is a copycat, and he wants his crimes to replicate the past down to the letters to the inspector and the cuts he delivers to his victims, because his motivations come from the past he recreates; taunting li and putting Margaret at peril, nearly destroying all they have.

This is a more stylized narratives than the usual stories in this series, creating a plot that is rich with historical facts of interest, that will satisfy most crime readers, but it is still very much keeping a marriage of east and west, and the consequences of power and history.

Entertaining and fast paced full of turns and darkness for both the main characters, making this one more very good story that will not disappoint.
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on 22 March 2014
I read the Lewis Man trilogy and Peter May's writing made me want to visit the Isle of Lewis. I have now just finished reading Chinese Whispers, hopefully not the last of the China Thrillers trilogy. Now I want to visit China! You could read these books in any order but I feel I really know and care about the characters having read the books in order. At one point towards the end I found myself thinking "How on earth is he going to get out of this". I would recommend Peter May's books to anyone who likes a good thriller. With all of Peter May's books you are into the story from the beginning. I think this is his best yet and can't wait for the next - please let there be a next.
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on 25 February 2013
I have read all of the books in The China Thrillers series and loved them all and couldn't wait until the next one. I hope Chinese Whispers won't be the last in the series, as there is plenty of scope for more stories. I think it would also make a great series for TV.
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on 18 April 2013
Here Li and Margaret tangle with the Bejing Ripper, and the forensic detail is not for the faint hearted. This is the last of the Chinese series to date and, though gripping as usual, does feel as if it has run out of ideas at times. After all, the Ripper theme has been re-imagined so many times and Chinese Whispers just transfers the murders to a new time and place. Margaret's role is rather passive here: we see little of her feisty side. It ends rather inconclusively as to the future lives of our hero and heroine. Did Peter May purposely leave it like that so that he could take up their story again sometime in the future?
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