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Le Tueur du lac de pierre by Eliot Pattison

Le Tueur du lac de pierre (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Eliot Pattison (Author)

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3921040,269 (3.9)12
Title:Le Tueur du lac de pierre
Authors:Eliot Pattison (Author)
Info:Robert Laffont (2002), 576 pages
Collections:Your library, To read

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Water Touching Stone by Eliot Pattison (2001)



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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I'm shocked that so few people have read books from this incredible series. They are intricate, full of mystery and wonder, and provide a good understanding of Tibet and it's subjugation by China. Shan is a complex character. The names can be overwhelming at times and difficult to keep straight, but every book is well worth the effort. I can't recommend them highly enough. These are not light-weight mysteries, but require thought. ( )
1 vote KAzevedo | Feb 13, 2015 |
In the second book in this mystery series, we move from Tibet to western China's border regions where Muslim Uighurs, Kazakhs and others struggle to preserve their culture. Like the first book, this one makes me want to learn more about the area and the cultures, but I am beginning to wonder where in china Pattison will take us next? ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
This the second in a 6-book series set in Tibet and featuring a Han Chinese investigator sent to a hard labor camp for looking too closely into official corruption in Beijing. The story takes up a few months after Shan has been unofficially released (technically he is an escaped criminal) after 3 years, and the hidden lamas who have been sheltering and teaching him send him to an area just north of Tibet where a lama is missing, a teacher murdered, and several orphan boys living among the herding tribes are being hunted down and killed. It took only about 100 pages to figure out why the children are a target (one is a reincarnate lama), but that didn't detract from how interesting the story is, or the suspense over whether the specific child will survive.

As in the first installment, the focus is on the damage done by the Chinese invasion, especially to tribal and religious life: tribes and families broken up and forced to give up their herds and nomadic life; temples, monasteries and religious artwork destroyed; and lamas, nuns and other practitioners killed outright or tortured and enslaved in work camps. Those few allowed to continue as monks are licensed by the government, which is dedicated to squelching Tibetan identity or, failing that, to finding a way to use what remains to strengthen China's hold. Honestly, it's sickening, and now every time I see something "Made in China" I'm reminded that, in China, "made by" now includes anything made by Tibetans, whether by slave labor or by invasion survivors forced into this "people's" society. Read this only if you don't mind being outraged.

The author includes a glossary and a narrative bibliography for those who wish to followup on the factual background of the novel. One of the incidental subjects in the book is collectors dedicated to making up whole choruses of crickets which have different songs. The bibliography includes a book on this too, which is neat. ( )
1 vote auntmarge64 | Jun 8, 2011 |
More political than mysterious, Water Touching Stone is Eliot Pattison's second in the Inspector Shan series. In this one, Shan is asked by the Tibetan lamas to investigate the murder of orphans in the Kazakh region. The story is a decent police procedure with a distinctly Asian flavor, but what's so good about the series is the greater context. Here, the mystery is embedded in the breakup of Kazakh clans through enforced "modernization" by the Chinese government. At times, the story is heartbreaking. ( )
  drneutron | Nov 21, 2009 |
I found Pattison's book to be drawn too starkly - the villains are too evil, the heroes too good. Which was frustrating because it's a intriguing setting and he's a knowledgeable author. ( )
  dianaleez | Oct 27, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312982178, Mass Market Paperback)

Given the critical and commercial success of Eliot Pattison's Edgar-winning debut novel, The Skull Mantra, which painstakingly limned contemporary Tibet's harsh beauty and defiant fatalism through the stoic perspective of Shan Tao Yun, a Chinese bureaucrat imprisoned in a Himalayan labor camp, it's no wonder the author's second novel returns to this hauntingly scarred country. But Water Touching Stone also widens the author's geographical and social scope. Shan must find a killer who is stalking orphan boys in the high mountains and deserts of the Xianjiang Autonomous Region.

Gendun, the senior lama at the monastery that has given Shan sanctuary, announces to his student, "'You are needed in the north. A woman named Lau has been killed. A teacher. And a lama is missing.'" Though reluctant to leave the gentle presence of the monks who are balm to his crippled soul, Shan realizes he has no choice:

Gendun had told him the one essential truth of the event; for the lamas everything else would be mere rumor. What they had meant was that this lama and the dead woman with a Chinese name were vital to them, and it was for Shan to discover the other truths surrounding the killing and translate them for the lamas' world.
It turns out that Lau had taken upon herself the care of the zheli, a group of orphaned children from all corners of Xianjiang, and strove to help the children retain a sense of native identity in the face of the Poverty Eradication Scheme, which is Beijing-speak for the destruction of the herding clans and the transformation of the western steppes into a region of exploitable resources. Shan wonders whether officials from the People's Brigade (perhaps the "Jade Bitch," Prosecutor Xu Li), or the feared secret police "knobs" from Public Security decided to put a stop to her subversive activities. But when the children from the zheli begin dying amid horrific tales of the "demon" that came for them, bleak politics must grapple with darker imaginings.

The novel sports a practically Dickensian cast of characters, which might overwhelm the narrative by sheer numbers, yet Pattison manages to add depth to even the most minor of characters, and at the moments when the troupe threatens to become completely unwieldy, he deftly redeems the situation with moments of quiet poetry:

On they went, three small men in the vastness of the changtang, the wind sweeping the grass in long waves around them, the snow-capped peaks shimmering in the brilliant light of dawn. As they appeared over a small knoll they surprised a herd of antelope, which fled across the long plain. Except one, a small animal with a broken horn, which stared as if it recognized them, then ran beside them, alone, until they reached the road.
--Kelly Flynn

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Shan Tao Yun, an exiled former investigator from Beijing, rushes across the Tibetan plateau in the aftermath of a venerated schoolteacher's murder--meanwhile, young boys who were the teacher's students are murdered one by one.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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