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The Master of Rain (2002)
by Tom Bradby
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (1)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375713336, Paperback)Tom Bradby's third novel (though his first to be published in the U.S.) is a feverish work of historical noir, a labyrinthine thriller set in a vicious world where everyone--as in Bogart's Casablanca--has a reason for hiding. The year is 1926; the city is Shanghai, a swamp of organized crime, corruption, turf wars between British intelligence and street-level law enforcement, Communist sympathizers, and East European refugees from Bolshevik atrocities. Into this sweltering, cutthroat port city steps Richard Field, an idealistic policeman from Yorkshire looking to distance himself from a painful past. Ill-suited to Shanghai's heat and shocking violence, Field nevertheless throws himself into investigating the grisly murder of a Russian prostitute, the latest in a line of dead women who lived in the orbit of a powerful Chinese mobster. Slowed by official roadblocks, Field learns that the only man in his department he can trust is a tough Chicago detective, Caprisi, a touchstone of sanity even as Field loses his rookie head over another doomed Russian call girl.
Bradby, a seasoned correspondent for Britain's ITN television network, has obviously spent considerable time researching 1920s Shanghai. His feel for the city's Byzantine society and exotic textures is matched by his accessible vision of Shanghai as a junction of international fallout and internal intrigue. Less compelling, if not outright distracting, is Bradby's more contemporary emphasis on ghastly serial killings with a sex-crime edge. But in the end, the book's remarkable prose and density of experience are uniquely rewarding. --Tom Keogh
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:52 -0400)
"For Richard Field, a young Englishman new to the international police force, Shanghai represents a brave new world away from the past he is trying to escape. But his naivete is quickly dashed when he is called to the scene of a brutal crime, in which a young Russian woman, Lena Orlov, has been found sadistically murdered in her bed. Field's idealistic instincts push him to investigate the case, but his attempts are met with apathy - then menace - from his colleagues. He beings to recognize that some cases in Shanghai are intended to remain unsolved, and, in a matter of days, he glimpses the murky depths that lurk beneath a luminous city." "Field's drive to find the murderer leads him to Lena's neighbor, Natasha Medvedev. A stunning beauty who fled her charmed life in tsarist Russia, Natasha escaped the Revolution but landed, like many of her counterparts, in a treacherous life in Shanghai. Natasha travels in an elite circle - one that orbits, Field knows, around the city's most feared drug lord, Lu Huang. As Field's attraction to the beguiling Natasha grows, he is faced with a piercing question: Can he trust someone whose only goal is self-preservation? And is it wise to fall in love with a woman who may herself be the next victim?" "Trusting only his Chicago-hardened American partner, Caprisi, Field follows leads that run into the heart of a lawlessly corrupt city, slowly uncovering a web of deception that will leave him reeling."--BOOK JACKET.
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