HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Firemaker (1999)

by Peter May

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Margaret Campbell and Li Yan (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3092366,883 (3.6)35
PETER MAY: OVER 3 MILLION COPIES SOLD 'A TERRIFIC WRITER' MARK BILLINGHAM 'A WRITER I'D FOLLOW TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH' NEW YORK TIMES FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE LEWIS TRILOGY AND THE ENZO THRILLERS The first of Peter May's China critically acclaimed thrillers featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American pathologist Margaret Campbell. LI YAN A grotesquely burned corpse found in a city park is a troubling mystery for Beijing detective Li Yan. Yan, devoted to his career as a means of restoring the respect his family lost during the Cultural Revolution, needs outside help if he is to break the case. MARGARET CAMPBELL The unidentified cadaver in turn provides a welcome distraction for forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell. Campbell, married to her work and having left America and her broken past behind, throws herself into the investigation, and before long uncovers a bizarre anomaly. THE FIREMAKER An unlikely partnership develops between Li and Campbell as they follow the resulting lead. A fiery and volatile chemistry ignites: exposing not only their individual demons, but an even greater evil - a conspiracy that threatens their lives, as well as those of millions of others. LOVED THE FIREMAKER? Read the second book in the series, THE FOURTH SACRIFICE LOVE PETER MAY? Buy his new thriller, A SILENT DEATH.… (more)
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 35 mentions

English (22)  French (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Feels about as authentic as Big Trouble in Little China. The bizarre GMO fearmongering is the cherry on top. How is this a mystery novel? It's a mystery how it manages to combine generic with preposterous. It pretty much sets up the "reveal" in the first chapter and there's little else in the book beyond the usual Chinese cliches so I was thoroughly disappointed by the end. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
Perhaps I came to this with unreasonable expectations: I loved May's Lewis trilogy.

Here, he goes even further out of the way: to China. Good idea. But straight black hair and a Chinese name does not a Chinese make.

After a good 40-50 pages at the beginning of the novel, in which the cultural differences between China and the west are explored, as soon as the police investigation proper begins, suddenly it is as if none of this had ever been: we are presented with any old cop in Chinese clothing. Nothing of the police procedural that follows seems even remotely connected to the context established in the opening chapters.

Furthermore, May insists on telling, not showing. Huge chunks of dialogue are used to present the author's research, whether of feng shui, 'saving face', autopsies, whatever.

May even seems to acknowledge this inadequacy by referring explicitly to 'lectures' given by characters who are 'smug' - but the impression given is either that May doesn't mind his characters looking stupid (bad), or that he can't be bothered to write properly (worse), or that he thinks his audience is stupid (worst of all). I mean, the passage where the ethics of GM crops are discussed would disgrace a sixth-form debating society.

Nor are the characters worth following: Margaret Campbell is insultingly sketchily drawn, and unpleasant with it. The fact that she's suffering a mysterious heartache which has driven her to China is simply not enough.

Sorry to rant, but I'd really been looking forward to this. And it's just rubbish. ( )
  jtck121166 | Jun 9, 2020 |
I came to Peter May via his rather bleak "Lewis" trilogy, with a dour Hebridean detective returning to his home island and uncovering dark deeds. It all seemed so authentically Scottish that I couldn't really imagine him writing anything else.

Then I discovered that, more than a decade earlier, he'd written a set of thrillers set in China in the late nineties, in which none of the characters are Scottish. I was intrigued, picked up a copy of "The Firemaker"and discovered a whole new side to Peter May.

In "The FIremaker", Peter May shows great skill in merging genres and tropes to produce something new and interesting.

It has many of the hallmarks of a RomCom; a cute-meet between the two principals that set them at odds, a plot that keeps forcing them back together, and a finely paced set of will-they? won't-they? moments that stoke up the unresolved sexual tension in the best tradition of such things.

This is overlaid with massive culture clashes as the small, blonde, female American pathologist, running from her troubled past to her first assignment in China, meets ambitious and newly promoted Chinese Policeman who is dedicated to his work and wants to help build the new China.

Wrap all of that around political intrigue and a set of gruesome murders that seem connected but make no sense together and you have the makings of a very good book indeed.

This was the art of the exotic thriller being practiced at its best. The resarch was used to add an authentic sens of place without ending up feeling like a lecture on China and its recent history. Neither the American nor the Chinese culture walks away unscathed or undefenced. The people seem real and the plot unfolds with enough surprises to keep me turning the pages. The ending... well see for yourself. It works but is perhaps more RomCOm than Thriller.

I'cw already downloaded the next book in the series and hope to be returing to Peter May's China very soon.



( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
Not as good as the Lewis trilogy but still interesting ( )
  MarkusIrl | May 13, 2020 |
I struggled with this. I found it very slow and couldn’t get interested in the characters. ( )
  Kindleifier | Nov 24, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Mayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Forbes, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap
   Galations 6:7
Dedication
For my parents
First words
The laughter of the children peals through the early morning quiet like bells ringing for the dead.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

PETER MAY: OVER 3 MILLION COPIES SOLD 'A TERRIFIC WRITER' MARK BILLINGHAM 'A WRITER I'D FOLLOW TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH' NEW YORK TIMES FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE LEWIS TRILOGY AND THE ENZO THRILLERS The first of Peter May's China critically acclaimed thrillers featuring Beijing detective Li Yan and American pathologist Margaret Campbell. LI YAN A grotesquely burned corpse found in a city park is a troubling mystery for Beijing detective Li Yan. Yan, devoted to his career as a means of restoring the respect his family lost during the Cultural Revolution, needs outside help if he is to break the case. MARGARET CAMPBELL The unidentified cadaver in turn provides a welcome distraction for forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell. Campbell, married to her work and having left America and her broken past behind, throws herself into the investigation, and before long uncovers a bizarre anomaly. THE FIREMAKER An unlikely partnership develops between Li and Campbell as they follow the resulting lead. A fiery and volatile chemistry ignites: exposing not only their individual demons, but an even greater evil - a conspiracy that threatens their lives, as well as those of millions of others. LOVED THE FIREMAKER? Read the second book in the series, THE FOURTH SACRIFICE LOVE PETER MAY? Buy his new thriller, A SILENT DEATH.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.6)
0.5
1 2
1.5
2 8
2.5 2
3 20
3.5 13
4 25
4.5 6
5 13

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 164,392,114 books! | Top bar: Always visible