Summary and book reviews of The Shadow Walker by Michael Walters

The Shadow Walker

by Michael Walters

The Shadow Walker by Michael Walters X
The Shadow Walker by Michael Walters
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Aug 2008, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Beth Hemke Shapiro

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Book Summary

Murder is so uncommon in Mongolia that when one occurs, the government accepts help from England in the person of Chief Inspector Drew McLeish of Manchester.Together with Nergui, the former head of the Serious Crimes squad, they follow the trail of the dead from the abandoned factories of the city's decaying suburbs to the icy expanse of the barren steppes.

As winter falls upon the streets of Ulan Bataar, Mongolia, a serial killer is just getting warmed up. When the mutilated body of a fourth victim is found in one of the city’s most expensive hotels, Nergui, the former head of the Serious Crimes squad, is no closer to catching the killer and will accept any help he can get.

Drew McLeish, a senior British CID officer and no stranger to the savage side of human nature, is sent out to lend his expertise to the investigation. From the abandoned factories of the city’s decaying suburbs to the icy expanse of the barren steppes, Nergui and McLeish follow a trail of the dead.

So that was it. Cleaned out again. Right down to the last tugruk.

He fell against the wall, nearly lost his footing, then staggered upright again and continued his uncertain way down the empty street. What time was it? After midnight, for sure. The streetlights were on in the square, but the narrow side-streets were lost in darkness. And it was cold. Bone-chillingly cold, and winter was hardly here. He had tried to bet his coat on the last game - it was the only asset he had left - but thank blue heaven they’d just laughed at him. They usually laughed at him.

He tripped again, stumbling on an uneven paving stone, and felt suddenly nauseated. He should stop this. Stop the drinking. Stop the gambling. Yet again, he had left himself with nothing to live on till the next public handout, days away. But what else was there? Endless empty promises. That was the story of this country; everyone made promises. But nobody kept them. At least the cheap vodka always delivered.

He stopped ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Crime novels are a dime a dozen, but The Shadow Walker 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 .... A few times clues emerge a tad bit too conveniently but overall the book successfully combines an unusual locale with plenty of thrills, and readers will eagerly look forward to reading the next two books in the series - Adversary and The Outcast (both published in the UK in 2008, USA publication date unknown).   (Reviewed by Beth Hemke Shapiro).

Full Review (858 words).

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Media Reviews

VOYA
Although the plot itself is solid, there are a few moments where the story seems to stall because of a lack of action. Nevertheless the book is worth the time for readers who like crime fiction.

Kirkus Reviews
The mystery in Walters's debut lacks distinction, but his prose is sure and his vivid portrait of a largely unknown culture lays a solid groundwork for future installments.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The evocative descriptions of modern Mongolia create a unique backdrop for a suspenseful mystery full of misdirection and terror.

Library Journal
Careful plotting and meticulously drawn characters make this a sure winner.

The Guardian (UK)
A previously uncharted crime destination.

The Sunday Telegraph (UK
An intriguing police procedural, with a formidable sleuth.

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Beyond the Book

A Short History of Mongolia

Mongolia (map) is located in Northern Asia between China and Russia. It should not be confused with the Mongol autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (known as Inner Mongolia), which is located in the north of China, bordering southern Mongolia.

The name 'Mongol' was first recorded by the Chinese during the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD). Until the 12th century, the region consisted of loose confederations of rival clans, then a 20-year-old Mongol named Temujin (better known as Genghis Khan meaning "Universal King") united most of the tribes. By the time of his death in 1227, the Mongol empire extended from Beijing to the Caspian Sea. Genghis' grandson, Kublai Khan, completed the...

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