Monday, April 19, 2021

Book Review: Thief of Souls by Brian Klingborg

A woman is murdered in Raven Valley Township. The authorities are more than happy to sweep it under the rug, to pin it on a local troubled young man who may have been interested in her. However, Inspector Lu Fei knows he didn't do it, and he's determined to get to the bottom of the case. Far, far away from Beijing, Lu Fei is alone in being an educated outsider. 

The setting in this book is brilliant and really makes the book (though Lu Fei is also a compelling protagonist.) I love that it's not in a major or even minor city. It's out in the boonies, and really reflects the true China in a way that a small town in Indiana would be a much more accurate portrayal of American then New York or LA ever can be. Mr. Klingborg gives great very brief explanations of some bizarre differences in how things work in China--for example there are 2 different men in charge of the town--some things I'd expect the town manager to be responsible for, instead the Communist Party chair is in charge of. I really appreciated both the explanations, but also how he didn't get bogged down in long-winded interpretations. This book, even though it's contemporary, felt so foreign and unusual, it really took me out of the here and now which is a nice break this year. I look forward to future installments.

This book is published by Minotaur, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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