I don't often compare authors, but fans of Tess Gerritsen will definitely enjoy this, but so will anyone else who likes an extremely well done mystery. When I read the sentence ; I admit, I did read no. That was called Killing room and was sickeningly gory a good thing so I think my expectations where high for the 1st in series.
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So I found it a difficult read In a way that I was just unable to connect with the story an When I read the sentence ; So I found it a difficult read In a way that I was just unable to connect with the story and the crime going on. In relation to the language of the author, it was a spectacular read. He writes so well and ensures vivid images, and his descriptions of China was colourful and interesting and mostly educating. I relaxed and started to just enjoy the writing, and found myself becoming obsessed with the relationship between the chinese detective and The American pathologist.
Publication Order of Beijing/China Thriller Books
This is, I have come to learn I would not have known this if I had not read book no. I just wish I had read it with enjoyment for what it was.. I have given this 3 stars because despite my growing fondness of it, there are some things that didn't quite sit right with me, and that was the constant comparing of China and the USA I felt there was no need as it was all self explanitory really.
Also, the concept of the crime I can't put my finger on it, but maybe It was plainly too much out of my depth as a reader, because it was a very complex story with a lot of scientific elements to explain logic of it all. I am however, wanting to read the next book And I will risk my reputation here by saying it is purely for the romantic follow up of Detective Li Yan and Margaret Cambell. Also now that the introduction to the whole Asian backdrop has been done Peter May just might get to grips with the juicy horrors he was so good at writing in The Killing room.
Jan 15, juice rated it it was ok Shelves: rubbish , couldn-t-finish. I got eight percent of the way into this book. TBH, I thought I did pretty well to get that far. If you want soap opera melodrama obviousness in a book, you will love this. If you've read May's Lewis Men trilogy, don't sully the memory by going anywhere near this egregious garbage.
A burned corpse in a park in Beijing is the beginning of a strange mystery for Beijing detective Li Yan and forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell. Together they must work out who the man is if it was suicide or murder. And if it was murder, who would want to kill him? Since they got on the wrong foot with each other at the first meeting must they also find a way to work together without frictions with is easier said than done. Peter May's Lewis trilogy is one that I truly enjoyed reading so I wa A burned corpse in a park in Beijing is the beginning of a strange mystery for Beijing detective Li Yan and forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell.
It was very interesting to read about Beijing. This is I'm quite sure the first crime book I have read that takes place in Beijing and the difference in the way of life there to ours in the west is fascinating. Peter May begin the book with telling the reader about his journey to China and his great interest in the country. And, I can tell that in the book with the details and how well he was written about the cultural difference between China and the west. Margaret Campbell has left America to get away from some personal problems and she is absolutely not ready for the cultural shock that she is in for in Beijing.
She should have read up more about what to do and what not to do before she sat foot in Beijing, but she didn't and that means that right from the start is she upsetting pretty much everyone. You know when you tell someone what not to do and the person instead go ahead and do it? Yup, that's Margaret Campbell in this book.
For instance, the first time Margaret met Li Yan she makes him lose face. And, it just goes downhill from that one Still they and up working together and, despite their first annoyance with each other is there a spark between them and the more they work together, well let's say that they find each other quite acceptable towards the end. The case with the burned body was an interesting one, unfortunately, I came to feel that it took forever to get somewhere with it.
The book is pretty thick and the investigation was a bit slow and sometimes during the middle and towards the end that I feel almost a bit of desperation for the story to get somewhere. And, then finally, the investigation started to take off and then it took a horrible turn for Li Yan and Margaret. So, in the end, the case was interesting, but the book felt a bit slow now and then. I did, however, like Li Yan and Margaret quite well. Sure Margaret's overbearing attitude was a bit annoying, but she started to respect the Chinese culture more and more towards the end of the book.
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! Having read the Lewis Trilogy it was with great expectation that I started on this the first of the China thrillers. Unfortunately I was disappointed, the main character, Dr Margaret Campbell arrived in China to lecture at the University ill prepared for the experience was rude, overbearing and so drunk in the first few days that she failed to turn up at work.
So frustrating. As the story unfolds more pages are devoted to the relationship between herself and the detective Li Yan, than on the plot Having read the Lewis Trilogy it was with great expectation that I started on this the first of the China thrillers. As the story unfolds more pages are devoted to the relationship between herself and the detective Li Yan, than on the plot, the case or the increasing violence. The story rather dragged on until the last pages when the action, however unlikely, begins to unfold.
I wanted to throw this down early on but am not prone to give up once I have started and found myself rather plodding to the end. Jul 28, Lisa rated it really liked it Shelves: audio. I liked the story and the characters - Peter May is not afraid to break boundaries and head in to territory from which there is no return! And the setting gives it an interesting edge over other books in this genre.
I will certainly be reading the next in the series - highly recommended. Apr 22, Phrynne rated it liked it. This one has good points and not so good points, probably in equal measures. The author is determined that we should learn lots of things about Chinese culture a bit out of date but not his fault since the book is quite old , about genetic modification he holds very strong views on this and about techniques used in post-mortems at least this was really interesting.
This information is occasionally delivered via dialogue between someone knowledgeable and someone who must live under a rock This one has good points and not so good points, probably in equal measures. This information is occasionally delivered via dialogue between someone knowledgeable and someone who must live under a rock not to know any of it already. Still this reader learned a few interesting facts along the way.
Apart from that there are some entertaining characters, a bit of humour, a good story and a modicum of suspense. Surprisingly for a male author there was also a lot of romance or at least thoughts of romance and even whole paragraphs describing what people were wearing. I skimmed some of that as irrelevant. So as I said at the beginning good points and not so good points.
Not sure yet if I will follow up with the next in the series. One day. Audiobook - hours - Narrator: Peter Forbes 3. I won't say I was disappointed with "The Firemaker" because I enjoyed it, but based on "The Blackhouse" I think I may have been expecting something that deserved more than three stars. Published in , a point of difference was that the book was set in a then modern-day China which provided an interesting insight into police methods at the time.
Not a 'must-read' but I intend to continue with this series and venture into more of his books. Jan 20, Susan Johnson rated it liked it Shelves: net-galley. I like Peter May's Lewis Island books and was really looking forward to this one. She is recovering from a personal tragedy and is cranky, out of sorts and not the least bit interested in China's customs and way of life. She just wanted a change of pace and is quite convinced of her American superiority. She is a pain to be around. Assigned a former Red Guard escort, both helper and spy, she makes everyone's life miserable.
A man found burned to death in a public park brings newly promoted Deputy Section Chief Li to his first investigation in the new job. As Campbell is an expert in burn victims she is brought into the investigation and the two clash bitterly. She is convinced of her American superiority and he of his Chinese knowledge. The investigation takes lots of twists and turns and many personality clashes. There is a component of genetic altering of a food supply that is both very scary and realistic. It is an issue that will present itself in our near future and I am not sure we are prepared for it.
The ending was spine chilling. This was an interesting novel with some unusual ideas. It made some entertaining reading. Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review. May 15, Mommymac10 rated it really liked it Shelves: mysteries. This is good news, because since he first wrote them I have become interested in Chinese culture and life lived in Taiwan, been to China, have a Chinese daughter-in-law, and a son who speaks Mandarin fluently and spends some summers there as part of his job. So this first book in a series of six I found quite exciting, even allowing for the explanations of Chinese culture sprinkled in at some length because the American pro Peter May's China mysteries have been reissued by Poisoned Pen Press.
So this first book in a series of six I found quite exciting, even allowing for the explanations of Chinese culture sprinkled in at some length because the American protagonist is an ignoramus about China, frankly, and this is the hook used to explain the cultural differences. She is a forensic pathologist fleeing tragedy back home, lecturing in Beijing for six weeks. She becomes involved in doing an autopsy for a Beijing police detective who has 3 murders to solve. They begin as antagonistic toward each other, and guess how they end up?
The book ends in a cliff-hanger, tho, and I'm eager to begin book 2. Terrific sense of place with cultural differences thrown in, some romance, and lots of excitement. Feb 16, Eadie rated it it was amazing Shelves: read I found this book a very interesting read. Learned a lot of 'how not to act in China' through Margaret's mistakes. He has well-developed characters and many surprises at the end. If you are interested in finding out about China's laws and history, then you will be sure to enjoy this book.
I can't wait to read the I found this book a very interesting read. I can't wait to read the 2nd in the series in order to find out what's next for Margaret and Li Yan. The story in itself wasn't that bad - a good thriller to keep you occupied for an afternoon or so, even though I guessed all the details of the climax about pages before any of the main characters. First of all, it's unrealistic and unprofessional as FUCK, second of all, has he ever met an actual woman?
I'm seriously starting to doubt it. Book 1 in the China thrillers introducing Li Yan and Dr. Margaret Campbell. Campbell arrives in Beijing for a 6 week guest lecture at the Centre of Material Evidence Determination. Her first autopsy is on a burn victim found in one of the city's parks and introduces her to Li Yan, a new up-and-coming Beijing detective. A series of suspicious deaths entangled the two in a major crime investigation.
Order of Beijing Books - yraqedal.gq
A very good beginning to a series by Peter May. I look forward to reading more. View 1 comment. What do I say about The Fire Maker? What can I say? My reviews are currently a little rough, but with a little practice hopefully I'll be able to convey all the thing I need to. Let's start with the setting: post-Mao China of the 's, a period of history that Westerners know so very little about.
I wanted to drown in the descriptions of this new Beijing in the era after the Cultural Revolution. Business booming practically overnight, wealth flooding into the county as it modernized yet still What do I say about The Fire Maker? Business booming practically overnight, wealth flooding into the county as it modernized yet still kept to its roots.
I could almost smell the food cooking in the marketplace, hear the very life itself of the city rise off the page--had Peter May chosen to write this solely as a nonfiction exploration of dichotomy of western business meets eastern ideals, of the growth of one of the world's biggest economies, I would have devoured it. And yet. Let's be frank, I love thrillers even if I might be considered hard to please both on the page and the screen. Blood and guts and murder? Criminal Minds , Law and Order , Dexter?
Yes, yes, and yes! All the police procedurals, the crime dramas, I want them all.
The mostly solitary policeman, single, few friends and close family, married to his work, any of this sounding familiar? So, I ended up feeling pretty 'meh' about our intrepid hero, though his internal dialogue had its funny moments and gave him a more interesting voice during sections with his POV. And all the Uncle Yifu, I wanted so much more of their interactions! Then there was Doctor Margaret Campbell. I spent most of the book wanting to strangle her. There would be these brief moments where it seemed like she was learning or being more tolerant, and then she'd dash it down the drain by doing the exact thing that someone just minutes previously had told her not to do.
Cue the not impressed face, a raised eyebrow, and some make that a lot of side-eye. Even her sad past yes it is actually sad. Please excuse my run-on sentence, I obviously had a lot of feelings on this subject. And a side note of an observation I made about Margaret Campbell: perhaps the whole culturally insensitive Westerner thing was meant to be read as an allegory?
Perhaps she was written purposely this way? But even if that's the case, it does not make her a sympathetic character, especially to me, a mixed race, multicultural woman in the 21st century I shudder to think about the past and the real people who acted like this and the ones that still do it to this day. Something that I did enjoy: the fact that Li Yan and Margaret Campbell had easily one of the best "meet ugly" I've read in a long time.
I thought it gave them a lot of room to grow and change perceptions and to become more enjoyable well rounded characters. Something that pissed me off: the shortened timeline of the book, which in it of itself I wouldn't have minded, it is supposed to be a thriller after all, but this led to an "insta-love" trope that didn't feel organic.
Actually it felt forced considering when the who characters start acknowledging that "there's something there" even if only to themselves, they'd had maybe two authentic conversations amidst quite a few arguments and purposely needling comments and more than a few cultural misunderstandings if not outright prejudice and unwillingness to stop judging each other's "foreign" natures by the standards of their own culture. Another thing, how do you write a story with so many vivid side characters who could have contributed so much more to the story, yet you leave them hanging on the peripherals?
Because you've purposely chosen to center the story on the two main characters and their interactions with each other, which in my opinion, means you literally, perhaps even deliberately, maimed you story. Where it should run, you've left it wallowing in the mud. Where it could fly and soar, you've blinded it, unable to see sky.
And then the mystery itself that brought these two characters together in the first place--how did it take a backseat and only really feel like it was a part of the story after the first pages, then its there for a bit, and then only seemingly have any relevance in the last 70 pages or so?
Short timeline, slow beginning, and then a huge rush at the end that felt like it came out of nowhere, and then that somewhat unsatisfying ending which dovetailed into the opening for the next book in the series. Over all my rating is 1. I will acknowledge that I am somewhat nit-picky by nature and am horrendously difficult to please, so another individual may find that my gripes are inaccurate. So maybe take only one grain of salt from the salty sea that is me and my review.
I absolutely loved this! It's so very well researched and full of detail. Can't wait to pick up the next in the series! Aug 07, Hamid rated it it was ok. A mildly above-average boilerplate detective thriller. It's interesting in parts but the author insists on hitting you in the face with a sledgehammer-like cue for every single major plot reveal. It makes the rest of the book a half-intriguing half-tortuous slog through page after page of Orientalist exposition, half-baked Frankenfood conspiracies and a stunningly obnoxious and unlikable central character which the author tries to save about pages too late.
The fact that it is set in China o A mildly above-average boilerplate detective thriller.
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The fact that it is set in China oooh and features real Chinese people aaaaah is probably not nearly as interesting a hook as it was thirteen years ago. No doubt every paragraph about Chinese culture is as offensive now as it was then. The book is full of the following: On Law: "The Chinese focus on and reward group efforts, rather than individual ones" On Chinese being able to say "no": 'The Thing is, Margaret, the Chinese have got a thousand ways of saying "no" without ever saying "no"' On Chinese waiting: 'These were Chinese exercising that most enduring of Chinese qualities - patience.
And no CSI-loving novel would be complete without dozens of local sayings thrown into the mix. There's even a mini Shakespeare-off.
It's cringeworthy. Every time I read another frivolously-used Chinese proverb, I died a little inside. Then again, despite the obvious plot, despite the horrible orientalism, despite the thoroughly unlikable lead, despite the pseudo-science, despite the 'Oh I've been there! May 31, Ann rated it really liked it Shelves: at-the-library. I really enjoyed this book - the mystery was interesting and well put together, intriguing stuff set against a fascinating cultural backdrop. Someone said they felt the pieces of Chinese culture were lectures, but I felt that the book did a great job of explaining major cultural or historical significance without seeming like we were taking a departure to textbook or cultural handbooks.
Truly the part where Margaret and Li Yan go back and forth on human rights issues is beautifully done - a grea I really enjoyed this book - the mystery was interesting and well put together, intriguing stuff set against a fascinating cultural backdrop. Truly the part where Margaret and Li Yan go back and forth on human rights issues is beautifully done - a great way to see actions of both China and the USA without making one out to be better than the other, and trying to put the context of history around it. I've worked closely with China and visited several times, and I felt The Firemaker brought you into Beijing although a somewhat outdated Beijing in a country changing so quickly successfully, starting to show the complexities of China and being a foreigner.
Margaret is our lead character, but she's oddly drawn. We get huge insights into her late into the game, and other things that are never really explained in significance brother drown? Li Yan is a more developed character, and we get better idea of his history, motivations etc. I enjoyed this book a lot, although there better be more explanation in the next part, because otherwise, this ending really left you hanging with no resolution for the characters.
Dec 16, 3 no 7 rated it really liked it. I have read and loved his books set in Scotland, but somehow had not read any of the China series. May tells a great story, and I loved this one, as well. I enjoyed reading a mystery in the midst of the complex and diverse life in Beijing. The main character, Margaret Campbell leaves America to get away from some personal problems, but she is not prepared for the cultural differences she finds in Beijing. She is stereotypically uninformed, and her relationship with Li Yan is fraught with social missteps.
This relationship gives May the opportunity to scatter interesting Chinese culture throughout the book and to develop an appealing sense of place. The pace is slow, but steady. He gives readers a unique insight into the culture and the people of China through the eyes of his characters. Of course, it ends with a cliffhanger that pulls readers right into the five books that follow in the series.
Now, on to reading the rest of the China series. May 12, Susan in Perthshire rated it liked it. Having really enjoyed his 'Enzo' and 'Lewis' series, I am sorry to say I was disappointed in this - the first of the novels set in China. I liked the first couple of chapters as they set the scene and highlighted the cultural context in which Margaret was going to work; but found it difficult to empathise with either of the protagonists and frankly I thought the story meandered quite a lot. Not up to Enzo's standard I'm afraid. I will read the second one to see if I like it any the better. Readers also enjoyed.
About Peter May. Peter May. Other books in the series. The China Thrillers 7 books. Books by Peter May. Trivia About The Firemaker Ch No trivia or quizzes yet.
- Every Last Cuckoo: A Novel.
- Freedom and Its Conditions: Discipline, Autonomy, and Resistance.
- “The Firemaker – The China Thrillers #1” by Peter May | Mike Finn's Fiction.
Quotes from The Firemaker. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Goodreads Librari Around the Year i It serves to introduce Yan and Campbell and the beginning of their relationship, which continues through an additional 5 novels. This novel is set in a China with limited exposure to the world outside the country. May has gone to considerable effort to capture the sights, sounds and feel of living in the country, from those in official posts to those just living their day-to-day lives, and some of the routines of the inhabitants of Beijing, including the preference for bicycles and the traffic, and the nightlife and its weather dependence.
May spends a good portion of the novel really working to immerse you in the life of a Beijing native, and he does an excellent job. While the first part of the novel is essentially a culture lesson, it is well done, and never feels like it is moving too slowly. These differences are most stark in the contrast between Li Yan and Dr. The interaction between Yan and Campbell as they work together — not always in the most friendly of circumstances — really shows some of the unexpected differences between the western style of policing and the Chinese way.
Those differences serve to make the plot more interesting. The plot itself is relatively sparse — although spiced up by cultural wrinkles — and is almost just as much about the development of a relationship between Yan and Campbell as it is about the thriller plot, which kicks off with three interconnected murders with different MOs across the city. It spirals out from there to an international conspiracy, picking up pace as the novel moves on. Although the novel is not totally about this plot, it would actually be overwhelming if there was more to the thriller portion of this novel.
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