The Fourth Sacrifice(The China Thrillers #2) by Peter May

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The Fourth Sacrifice(The China Thrillers #2) by Peter May
The Fourth Sacrifice(The China Thrillers #2)
by Peter May
THE FOURTH SACRIFICE (Police Procedural-Li Yan/Margaret Campbell-China-Cont) – Good
May, Peter – 2nd in series
Thomas Dunne Books, 1999, UK Hardcover- ISBN: 9780423364649
First Sentence: By now he knows he is going to die.
*** Chicago forensic pathologist is anxious to leave Beijing and the Chinese policeman with whom she fell in love
but hasn’t heard from since their return to the city when she is asked by the American Ambassador to perform an
autopsy on an American state department employee found beheaded. Detective Li Yan has been ordered not to
contact Margaret or he could lose his job and is investigating the beheading death of two Chinese when he is
thrown in contact with Margaret. In spite of he friction between them they need to find the killer before more
people die.
*** May’s first book “The Firemaker,” was plot-driven and very suspenseful. This book, is character-driven and
doesn’t work as well. The relationship problems are based on the cliché “big misunderstanding’ that five minutes
of conversation could have resolved. There are rather large holes in the plot of information it’s hard to believe the
protagonists wouldn’t have known. The villain was apparent very early in the story. What I did really enjoy about
the book, and made it worth reading, is the incredible sense of place May provides the reader, cultural look at
present day China and fascinating information on its history. In spite of its flaws, I enjoyed it and would
recommend it to anyone with an interest in China.
|Trošku se mi nechce udělovat hvězdičky. Už u předchozího dílu jsem měla pocit, že čtu úplně blbou knížku, ale čtu
ji s obrovskou chutí.
Kdyby se Rosamunde Pilcher rozhodla psát romantické detektivky, nesahala by v tomto oboru Mayovi ani po
kotníky. Normálně jsem mu to sežrala tak, jako naposledy Stanislavu Rudolfovi (později už byla červená knihovna
pod moji vysokou úroveň-)). Mlátila jsem se v tom spolu s Margaret jako za mlada :)
Dál jsem se toho opět dozvěděla docela dost o Číně, tentokrát by to bylo na doktorát o terakotové armádě.
Dál jsem se toho opět dozvěděla docela dost o Číně, tentokrát by to bylo na doktorát o terakotové armádě.
A ta detektivka? No... Pro vlastní přesné vyšetření případu v průběhu moc indicií nedostanete, ale těch pár je tak
do očí bijících, že není pochyb, kdo je padouch a kdo hrdina. A bez indicií by k tomu postačila i trocha intuice -)
Dvě hvězdičky by byly pro tu detektivku možná moc přísné. Jako červená knihovna to je klidně na čtyři, ale fuj, to
bych se musela stydět, některé věci se veřejně nepřiznávají.|Já jsem byl spokojen. Knihu teda je třeba brát spíše
jako dobrého průvodce kusem čínské historie, dozvíte se hodně o terekotové armádě i prvním císaři a sjednotiteli,
dozvíte se pár detailů o kulturní revoluci a to hodně nenásilnou formou, takže jestli máte rádi takovéhle pozadí,
kniha vás potěší. Jako detektivka to není žádný velký šlágr, ale na historizujícím pozadí to neurazí, namakaného
detektivkáře ale ani nenadchne...|Walking into this novel, I was warned 'It's worse than the first one'. I'd just written
a withering review for it, so it was with some trepidation I approached the second in the series and I'm glad to say
it's significantly better than the first effort, which was cloy, ridiculous, unlikeable and predictable. Here, May has
toned down the ridiculous - think Independence Day versus National Treasure - and managed to drive a
suspense-filled plot that doesn't reveal everything right at the opening.
That's not to say it's flawless. It really isn't. The lead is still utterly unlikeable. It's around this novel that May
discovers the word 'sublimate' and then uses the hell out of it. There's a little bit more flesh around the characters
this time round. Happily, the 'Rice X Virus' is conveniently forgotten and left by the wayside and the plot focuses
on themes around The Cultural Revolution and archaeology. Through these themes, there's even a little bit of
cultural and historical insight, though the overuse of 'Yang guizi' ('foreign devils') instantly requires a facepalm.
Nobody in China says that. Nobody in China said that in the early 2000s (when the book was written and when it's
set).
On that note, nobody in China really says 'In the name of the sky'. It's an old-fashioned, dramatic curse
presumably used in lieu of other, rurder curses. Nobody uses it. Other faults include broad and wrong
pronouncements. 'No one's made bronze swords for serious use since they discovered iron.' Which is false. Bronze
was still preferred for weaponry and armour at the discovery of iron, because early iron was not as hardy. Bronze
was simply more expensive. Nitpicking? Perhaps but the series is rife with these kinds of statements. Smug,
assured statements of fact from unlikeable characters which pull you right out of the fantasy as, in frustration, the
book hits your face. Regarding the symbol of the swastika, he has eminent archaeologist-cum-Indiana-Joneswannabe say 'No. Hitler only borrowed it from the Chinese. It was the ancient Chinese character for long life.' It
was used by Ancient Indians long before it came to China.
The novel manages to survive its problems in a much better state than its predecessor. I'm glad I stuck with it this
time round.|"Women hold up half the sky. Mao Zedong"
Again a fascinating look at China its history and culture, within the parameters of a very entertaining thriller that
delivers one more time.
Margaret has not left Beijing, she stayed behind to help with the last case, then a chinese american is murdered
and she is requested by the american embassy to help in the investigation. Exposing her to the Terracotta Army,
and the consequences of the Chinese Cultural Revolution that took place from 1966 until 1976. Where millions of
people were persecuted, tortured, and suffered a wide range of abuses including public humiliation, arbitrary
imprisonment, sustained harassment, and seizure of property. Just to preserve 'true' Communist ideology. The
madness finally ended and In 1981, the Communist party recognized that the Cultural Revolution was "responsible
for the most severe setback and the heaviest losses suffered by the Party, the country, and the people since the
founding of the People's Republic."
From this past the present crimes of the story grow in unexpected ways, and twist in surprising directions, for
Margaret and Detective Li Yan.