Crime novels are a dime a dozen, but The Shadow Walker by Michael Walters
stands apart for both its exotic setting in modern-day Mongolia and its
intriguing investigator Nergui. Offering a fast-paced and dark setting, Walters,
a management consultant, presents an exciting debut novel.
Throughout the book the author provides detailed descriptions of Mongolia, the resulting portrait is of an unsettled country, formerly occupied by the Soviet government and now feeling the effects of western modernization, all the while maintaining its nomadic history. Here, for example, is British police officer Drew McLeish's first glimpse of Ulan Baatar's city center:
The road widened into a brightly lit avenue, lined with a mix of official-looking buildings, many studded with communist emblems, and newer commercial offices, some with Korean, Japanese or even American ...
Gers or Yurts
The Mongolian ger (known more commonly as a yurt in the West) has been used as a home by steppe nomads for more than 2500 years and is still a common home even in urban areas.
Since nomads relocate many times over a year, it is essential that their dwellings be easily assembled and dismantled. A ger can be erected within a few hours on top of a wooden floor. While in the summer this floor remains slightly off of the ground to avoid moisture, in the winter it is constructed directly onto the soil in order to prevent drafts. The structure's support frame is made of wood with lattices forming a circular wall, with a post-and-lintel doorway always pointing toward the south. Willow rods attach to the framework and join at a wooden hoop to form the roof. The cover consists primarily of wool felt swathed with white cotton. Once inside, a basic stove ...
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