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The Shadow Walker by [Walters, Michael]
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The Shadow Walker Kindle Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 356 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


"Compulsive reading and the descriptions of Mongolia are richly enjoyable. I look forward to another bloodthirsty visit with Nergui as my guide." Independent (Independent)

Walters ably brings his uncommon setting to teeming life.' Guardian (Guardian)

Walters cuts between the search and the gagged victim with nail-biting skill. compulsive reading.' Independent (Independent)

The Guardian

Walters ably brings his uncommon setting to teeming life

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1089 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus; New Ed edition (15 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007VOLLV0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #377,093 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Jan. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Although there is crime in Ulan Baatar, the capital of Mongolia, finding a corpse missing it's head and hands is far from normal. Negrui, ex-head of the Serious Crime Squad is ordered back to his former role with instructions to clear the case immediately. When the fourth victim is a British geologist, senior British CID officer Drew McLeish is sent to work with Negrui and his successor, Doripalam. The trail leads them through the capital city, to the steppes and into the Gobi desert trying to learn the connection between the killings when Drew is kidnapped.

Walker does a wonderful job of bringing the reader to present day Mongolia. His descriptions of the country, the contrasts in cultures and the winter season are so well done. It was fascinating to read a story set in a country about which I'd never given much thought. The characters of Negrui and Drew balanced well; neither was overbearing and I liked that both seemed a bit out of their depth. It was interesting to have Negrui be the lead character. The story flowed well; I certainly read it straight through, but the plot didn't completely hold together. There were incidents not really explained, the end felt very abrupt and the motive behind the crimes detracted from the suspense of the story. I found this a very credible first book, well worth reading for the setting alone, and look forward to Walker's second book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An enjoyable work of fiction set in the world where communism (post-Soviet) and capitalism (globalisation) meet. From my perspective I enjoyed the short sections that explain life in Mongolia (a former Soviet republic) after the fall of the communist party in 1991. I felt that the author tried to explain the legacy of the Soviet mindset and the sense of loss/opportunity that citizens of Mongolia and Central Asia feel and experience today. I think this work of fiction would appeal to students and scholars of (post-Soviet) Asian societies.
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Format: Paperback
The words on the cover under the title read: "Murder at the edge of the world" - and Mongolia is indeed a pretty remote spot for most of us. THE SHADOW WALKER opens in standard fashion, with the discovery of a dead body by a drunk staggering home after a long night, but the author quickly establishes his niche when the location is revealed as Ulan Bataar, the country's capital. The police cannot identify the corpse (the head and hands have been removed), then more bodies are found, all unidentifiable, with seemingly no connection between the victims. Could this be the work of Mongolia's first serial killer?
One person is following the crimes with interest - Nergui, ex-senior policeman, now promoted to the Ministry of Justice. Bored with the politics of his new desk job, he studies each crime-scene report, and is mostly pleased when his boss, the Minister himself, assigns him to solve the murders. Nergui's doubts concern working with his old police colleagues, most of whom are said to be unintelligent and involved in petty corruption to ease the burden of living in a relatively impoverished country, and who are jealous or suspicious of Nergui's success. Luckily, Inspector Doripalam is in charge of the police investigation and (like Nergui) neither stupid nor corrupt, so despite some tensions and rivalries, the two men collaborate. A rather touching friendship develops, mutual professional respect growing as the sense of rivalry recedes.
When an Englishman is killed in his hotel room in what could be a related murder, an experienced British detective, Inspector Drew McLeish, is sent from Manchester to "advise" the locals - though after an initial meeting with the British Ambassador, Drew is not sure whose interests he is there to protect.
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Format: Paperback
If you wanted to learn something about Mongolia and throw in a series of brutal murders, all you need to do is put a British Chief Inspector in your story and send him out there to help solve the crimes.

The author did just that and now I know a little more about the workings of Mongolia, except that the fly in this ointment is that the CI didn't solve anything. He did travel around the place and what a dismal spot it appears to be.

The lead character, Nergui, is interesting enough but, I feel he is not strong enough to hold the book together. Frankly, this murder investigation could have taken place almost anywhere and, if you replaced this travel guide with another, you wouldn't know the difference. Nergui has his superiors on his back, he relies on a stalwart assistant to point him in the right direction and, for a change, there is no love interest. In fact, I can't recall a single female in the book, except by reference (the CI's wife, for example, five thousand miles away) - ah, apologies, one of the dark horses does have his wife with him at a dinner at the British Embassy. This doesn't, of course, reduce the storyline, it just seems to make the whole event rather limp (no pun intended).

I believe this is a debut novel, so I would imagine the author can build on this but whether I would want to read anything else about the Mongolian police force - or, indeed, their way of life - is another matter.
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