Shanghai, 1928. The body of a blonde is washed up on the Beach of Dead Babies, in the heart of the smog-filled city. Seemingly a suicide, a closer inspection reveals a darker motive: the corpse has been weighed down, it’s lower half mutilated…and the Chinese character for ‘justice’ carved into the chest.
The moment Inspector Danilov lays eyes on the dismembered body, he realises that he has an exceptional case on his hands. And when the first body is followed by another, and another, each displaying a new, bloody message, he has no option but face the truth. He is dealing with the worst kind of criminal; someone determined, twisted…and vengeful.
Someone who must be caught….whatever the cost.
Death in Shanghai is the first novel in M J Lee’s Inspector Danilov series, perfect for fans of Philip Kerr.
Those of you who know me will know I love a good crime novel. And this is definitely what you get with Death in Shanghai. The opening is pretty dramatic- the body of a woman washes up on a beach known as the Beach of Dead Babies (creepy eh?) and what looks to be a suicide turns out to be a very grisly murder indeed. As the bodies pile up, each one more gruesomely murdered than the last, it’s up to Inspector Danilov to solve the case and bring the killer to justice.
I love books with a detective protagonist and this one doesn’t disappoint. Inspector Danilov leads you through the novel, which has plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested throughout. Call me crazy, but I really liked reading about the gruesome murders too! I’m a Stuart Macbride fan, so this book really appealed to me. I’m usually quite good at working out who the killer is, but with this book I had absolutely no idea until the end and let out a huge gasp when all was revealed. If you like your crime novels gruesome with a fast-paced plot and a compelling protagonist to lead you through to the conclusion, I would highly recommend Death in Shanghai.
About the author
Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
Whilst working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarter of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in 1920s and 30s.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.