Tangled Web UK Review October 2000
The Fourth Sacrifice by
pbk out May 00
A serial killer is at large in Beijing. Four victims have been ritually executed. Drugged, bound, labelled with a card bearing a nickname then expertly beheaded with a ceremonial sword. Three victims are Chinese, the fourth an American. The case brings together former lovers Chinese policeman Li Yan and American pathologist Margaret Campbell. Margaret has a new admirer, the charismatic TV archaeologist Michael Zimmerman who is making a new series in China. Meanwhile Li has a family tragedy that preoccupies him and an unexpected responsibility thrust upon him.
The Fourth Sacrifice is both romance and thriller. The tense relationship between Li and Margaret constantly impinges upon their working life together and his jealousy and her acid tongue make for entertaining reading. China and the city of Beijing are depicted extremely well and the horrors and tragic legacy of the Cultural Revolution are made poignantly clear. On occasion Margaretís ignorance of Chinese history is a little hard to credit, the police sometimes seem slow to twig whatís going on and one of the minor plots is left unresolved - perhaps to be answered in the next instalment? However the story builds to an exciting final struggle when both Li and Margaret are trapped by the killer with little hope of escape.
Manchester Evening News 11.8.00
- Author of the highly acclaimed Sal Kilkenny Mysteries set on the Mean Streets of Manchester)