Read advance reader review of Whispering Shadows by Jan-Philipp Sendker, page 8 of 9

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Whispering Shadows

by Jan-Philipp Sendker

Whispering Shadows by Jan-Philipp Sendker X
Whispering Shadows by Jan-Philipp Sendker
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2015, 352 pages

    Feb 2016, 352 pages


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Page 8 of 9
There are currently 63 member reviews
for Whispering Shadows
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  • Sandra S. (Charlotte, NC)
    Engaging read
    Whispering Shadows is an engaging read that draws one into the world of China and Hong Kong. This is a murder mystery and so much more. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Norman G. (Washougal, WA)
    Actually 4.5
    Great storyline. Outstanding historical details woven throughout the action. Many memorable characters, well written. Great descriptive setting. A very enjoyable read except for one factor that actually makes the book a 4.5 instead of a 5. The main character actions and psychological make-up border between the annoying and the unbelievable.
  • Becky C. (Issaquah, WA)
    Whispering Shadows-A travel and mystery novel
    I was anxious to read this newest novel by Sendker as I enjoyed one of his previous books. He is a German novelist translated to English writing about China. This creates some funny sentences grammatically but overall it is a good translation however I always wonder what was lost in the translation. The novel starts off with the main character going living through a horrible life event. He remains the narrator for the first 25 of the novel before the writer switches to other characters in the book narrating. The author does a wonderful job describing the sights, smells and sounds of Hong Kong and mainland China while describing some of the subtleties of Chinese culture. The book is a mystery so slowly the book yields all of the answers while keeping you in suspense through most of the book. It is a good read and a trip to China all wrapped up in one novel.
  • Esther L. (Newtown, PA)
    Outstanding Author
    Jan-Philip Sendker is a masterful author with beautiful prose. I had really loved his first novel The Art Of Hearing Heartbeats and wasn't sure that this book could capture my interest in the same way.I was very pleasantly surprised and found myself as involved with this very different style of story. Whispering Shadows shows the shadows of our past reach through our future. Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to preview this book.
  • Rosemary C. (Austin, TX)
    A view of grief and redemption in Hong Kong
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The translation is excellent, the story is compelling, and the depiction of Paul gradually emerging from his grief to live and love again is well-done. The descriptions of life in Hong Kong paint a vivid portrait and the plot line throws a light on the interrelation of the police and the political system, where, as is universal, money and power typically control events and people. Sendker has written an evocative, suspenseful and thoughtful book with characters the reader comes to care about.
  • Vivian H. (Winchester, VA)
    Thought Provoking & Well Researched
    "Whispering Shadows" is a novel of modern China, how the legacy of the Cultural Revolution continues to affect those who survived its cruelty, an investigation into the disappearance of an American businessman involved in a joint venture with a Chinese partner, a love story and the long emotional recovery of a father who has lost his young son to leukemia. Does the story succeed on all levels? For me it does not. Nonetheless, this was a good read.

    Rather than the burgeoning romance between the protagonist and a local woman, for me the heart of the story is the decades long friendship between expatriate German American Paul Leibovitz, who has lived a life of solitude on Lamma Island since the death of his son, and Zheng, a Chinese police officer in Shenzhen, a Special Economic Zone in Guangdong Province just outside Hong Kong, who may just be the only incorruptible police officer in China.

    Sendker's insights into the political intrigue, corruption, and machinations of local party members and industrial magnates in China also illustrate what few westerners completely understand. It is clear the author has spent a great deal of time learning about Chinese culture and his descriptions of Hong Kong, Lamma Island, and Shenzhen are those of someone with an intimate personal knowledge of the locales and the people who live there. Sendker also cautions his readers that it is dangerous for a foreigner to make the assumption that he understands the business or political or judicial environment in China. Forced confessions still exist. And the wrong decision in a business deal can get one killed. It happened to somebody we knew in Kunming in 1992.

    I had the privilege of living in Hong Kong for three years and felt drawn back into that vibrant world that I learned to love through this book. The themes are compelling: trust, friendship, gratitude, shame, fear, hubris, empathy, truth, and consequences. I rate this book a strong 4 out of 5 stars.
  • Vicki R. (York, PA)
    Crime Thriller set in modern day China
    "Whispering Shadows" by Jan-Philipp Sendker is a well put together thriller set in modern day Hong Kong and China. Paul, who has lived in Hong Kong for 30 years and Zhang, a Chinese police detective investigate the death of an American business man. The first half of the book introduces us to the main characters and their cultural backgrounds. The characters are very well developed and their history plays a very important role in the decisions that are made. Once you reach the halfway point the mystery quickly begins to unfold and I found it very hard to put the book down. The combination of Chinese history and crime thriller make this story a very interesting read.

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