The Lord of Death
is the sixth of Eliot Pattison's books to feature Shan Tao Yun, a disgraced former Chinese investigator whose fate has been increasingly tied to that of Tibet and its citizens, and it is perhaps the strongest entry in the series to date. An intricate yet logical plot, deep character construction and a wonderful sense of atmosphere combine to form a truly top-notch mystery novel.
The novel's backdrop is an area of the world in the throes of rapid change. Not only are the Tibetans influenced by Chinese Communist rule, but the country is rapidly becoming a tourist destination, which has also had a huge impact on the Tibetan way of life. Pattison does an excellent job of portraying this confluence of cultures.
Shan stood blinking in the brilliant morning sun as the door slammed shut behind him. Shogo town was still waking...
Beyond the Book
A Short History of Tibet
Tibet, a remote region along the southwestern border of China, sits at 15,000 feet above sea level between the Himalaya and Kunlun mountain ranges. The first recorded king of the region was Srong-btsan sgam-po, who is credited with introducing Buddhism to Tibet around 640 AD. He and his descendants ruled over a unified Tibet through the 8th century, but the empire eventually collapsed into a collection of small independent kingdoms.
Map of Tibet|
click for larger image including key
This review was originally published in July 2009, and has been updated for the
June 2010 paperback release.
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