City of Shadows by M. J. Lee Review

City of Shadows_FINAL (2)


A family of four is found murdered in the heart of one of the new Art Deco estates in the city. It’s a brutal crime, committed without mercy.

Under questioning, a suspect confesses, but Danilov is not convinced of his guilt. When the accused is murdered on the steps of the police station, he investigates to clear the man’s name,diving deep into the dark heart of Shanghai, uncovering the greed and jealousy, triads and police corruption that lurks in the City of Shadows.

This is the second book in the Danilov series. The first, Death in Shanghai, is also available from Carina.


This is the second book in the Danilov series and I have to say, I enjoyed it just as much as the first. M J Lee has delivered yet another absorbing mystery with plenty of twists and turns thrown in for good measure.

When Danilov finds a family of four brutally murdered in Shanghai, it seems like an open-and-shut case when someone confesses. However, nothing is quite as it seems and the case turns out to be a lot more complex than Danilov could’ve anticipated. Can he catch the murderer before it’s too late?

A piece of advice when reading this book: discard any theories you may form while you’re reading because I guarantee you won’t guess who the culprit actually is. I had about three different theories while I read it and none of them were right! M J Lee is really good at making you think you know exactly what’s going on, then flipping everything on its head. I liked being back with Inspector Danilov again; he’s a compelling protagonist who leads you through each of the twists and turns in the case. I can’t wait to see what M J Lee does next!

Author Bio 

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.



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