Welcome to the City of Shadows blog tour!
I kindly received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. Thank you to the author, Carina and Neverland Blog Tours.
Published: 11th March 2016 (Carina)
Synopsis: A family of four is found murdered in the heart of one of the new Art Deco estates in the city. It’s a brutal crime, committed without mercy.
Under questioning, a suspect confesses, but Danilov is not convinced of his guilt. When the accused is murdered on the steps of the police station, he investigates to clear the man’s name, diving deep into the dark heart of Shanghai, uncovering the greed and jealousy, triads and police corruption that lurks in the City of Shadows.
This is the second book in the Danilov series. The first, Death in Shanghai, is also available from Carina.
This is the second Inspector Danilov thriller but the first that I have read. Those that have read the first instalment will benefit whilst reading City of Shadows however I could still follow what was happening and got the gist of what possibly happened/was explained in the first book.
City of Shadows is set in the 1920’s and is a good old fashioned police investigation into the horrendous murders of 4 members of the Lee family in their home and the subsequent murders of the the main suspect and another member of the police force.
The novel opens with the murder of the Lee family from the perspective of the daughter, this was particularly heartbreaking as she is unable to walk following as the lasting effects of polio and is therefore at the complete mercy of her killer.
Danilov is not your usual detective, he certainly doesn’t conform to the expectations of others and wants to find out the truth regardless of who he falls out with along the way. I feel that Danilov and DS Strachan are a good pairing, Danilov is quite dry and sarcastic and Strachan just lets this pass him by – they are two very different characters who compliment one another fabulously.
Interwoven with the investigations is the difficult relationship between Danilov and his daughter Elina. It is clear from the outset that they have a frosty relationship and are both dealing with the absence of Danilov’s wife and son differently and on their own. Occasionally through the story we hear from Elina and the internal battle she is having which is affecting her relationship with her father.
It made a refreshing change reading a detective novel that relied on the pure investigative skills and gut feeling of the police force rather than focusing on the advancements of modern technology – so much so that police had to run to their closest call box to raise support from colleagues. I also enjoyed the setting of the book in Shanghai, I got a little confused with the jurisdictions however I still understood the frustrations that the police have in investigating crimes if the suspects flee into other areas whereby they have no authority.
City of Shadows was a brilliant read and Lee’s skills are bringing all the strands together was fabulous and everything just started to fall into place and made sense. The ending of this book is just fabulous!
About the author:
Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, TV commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
Whilst working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarter of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in 1920s and 30s.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.
Blog tour organised by Neverland Blog Tours