Buy Mysteries

Posts Tagged ‘Shan Yao Tun’

Review of The Lord of Death by Eliot Pattison

“The Lord of Death” is the 6th in Eliot Pattison’s Shan mystery series.  He is the Edgar Award-winner for his first Shan novel, “The Skull Mantra.”

Shan Yao Tun is an undocumented Chinese exile in Tibet living under a brutal Chinese regime.  He has made his living helping with foreign mountain climbing expeditions on Everest and other Tibetan peaks, and yet at any time he can be arrested for being an undocumented alien.

The main mission in this book is to get Shan’s son, Ko, transferred out of the ‘yeti factory,” a hospital prison where the Chinese perform medical and biological experiments on live human subjects, and to get him back into a “normal” prison gulag environment.

Shan also solves a number of mysteries along the way in “The Lord of Death” including solving the deaths of a famous Nepalese climber, a Chinese bureaucrat and a pretty female American climber.

He must also try to save a band of monks who have been rousted from their “gompa” or remote monastery hide-out.  To help the monks escape to Nepal or India Shan had to get the help of an American mountain climbing organizer, some Chinese officals, and even a Tibetan police officer. The trade-offs he had to make with the Chinese officials, especially in order to get his son released from the “yeti factory,” makes for particularly interesting insights into how business is done in occupied Tibet.

Pattison obviously is an excellent scholar of Chinese and Tibetan philosophy and culture, and of Buddhism. He makes it al make sense to the western outsider.

Pattison’s writing is fresh and exciting.  He really makes the reader feel a part of the culture and to emphathize with the people who are trying to survive in a brutal environment and under an intolerant regime.

I want to go back and read others in this series and look forward to reading the next in the saga of Shan and his Tibetan experiences.

Liz Nichols

Technorati Tags: , , , ,