Tuesday, 18th September 2018
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Author Peter May : Published by Riverrun : Price 3 Euro

The Chief Executive of a New York bank is in Shanghai for the opening ceremony of a new joint venture.

It is raining hard and as he goes up to the podium to deliver his short speech the podium collapses from underneath him because of all of the rain. He pitches forward into a giant hole and as he is floundering around trying to get out he grabs onto a hand that he thinks is reaching out to him. As he grabs it it comes away from the side of the hole and reveals itself to be a disembodied arm. With so much media there covering the event there is no way that the Chinese can cover up what has happened and by the time that the forensic team has finished with their work they are after discovering parts of bodies for 18 women in the hole. Meanwhile in Chicago Margaret Campbell, forensic pathologist, is at the funeral of her father when she gets an email asking her to come back to China to work the case. The email is from her boyfriend Lin Yan who is a detective in Beijing and has been drafted in to head up the case in Shanghai. Campbell gets on the first plane to Shanghai. Meanwhile Lin is in the city trying to get a handle on what is happening.

He was given the case because of it's similarity to a previous case that he was working in the capital, the only difference there was the fact that the woman's organs weren't missing from the body while in Shanghai all of the organs are missing from the women found in the hole. When Campbell meets up with Lin she knows that she has a lot of work ahead of her but what she doesn't realise is that there is another woman there who is vying for Lin's affections as well. This is Mei Ling one of the highest ranking female detectives in Shanghai.

You might think that there is enough going on in the book what with 19 murders to solve but quite a lot of it is taken up with the love triangle between the three main protagonists and at times it all becomes just a little wearisome particularly as Lin doesn't seem to be aware of the real forces that are swirling all around him. But the story does progress and one of the big breakthroughs is when Campbell discovers that all of the women have had abortions which links them to one of the most powerful men in the city and the Communist party.

Needless to say he has many friends who are protecting him and it is interesting to see how the one party state can be run to benefit those with enough protection behind him. But in the end there isn't enough protection to fully cover him and it's not long before the big show down follows when enough proof has been gathered that the man was involved in organ theft and sale to sick Japanese. An interesting read but way too much about personal relationships to be a really good read.

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  • A Wonderful Harvest

    Even though the weather Gods didn’t exactly play ball over the weekend it doesn’t take away from the fact that this years Waterford Harvest Festival was yet again another wonderful success. It was great to see the streets of the centre of the city so beautifully and thoughtfully decked out. The various food stalls offering tastes from all over were great to wander around. The information and background that each of the stall holders were able to give on the provenance of their food was really interesting an …

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