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The Firemaker

The Firemaker

This is the first of a series and introduces Li, a detective in Beijing.  He is much troubled by the discovery of a burning cadaver.  He is joined by Margaret, a forensic pathologist who is escaping from a broken relationship in America.  As they investigate a bizarre anomaly, a chemistry develops between them.  A threat to their lives and to millions of others ensues.

This book was enjoyed by all of the literature group members.  Many points of appreciation of the story telling were mentioned and discussed:

The contrast between American and Chinese culture and values.

Characters were well drawn and Li and Margaret talked to each other showing how their relationship developed.

The book covered a short time span and the rapidity of events kept the up momentum and interest.

The story was entirely credible drawing one member to momentarily believe part of it to be true.

The descriptions were excellent.  One member particularly, very much enjoyed them.

The plot lines were well signposted.

We all felt it interesting that attention was drawn to the importance in China of not making someone 'lose face'.

Many were shocked by the shooting near the end.

It was felt that the book could be enjoyed by both men and women.  All noticed the contrast with last month's book as everyone enjoyed this, saying 'brilliant' and 'well written'.  Some felt the chapters rather long but little breaks within the chapters helped.  Difficulties putting the book down caused some to lose sleep!  Some found the book took time to 'get into'.  The husband in America was interesting, though a shadowy character.  Members who had been to China felt that their enjoyment was enhanced by having seen some of the places mentioned in the story.  Everyone would recommend this book and many look forward to reading more of the series or other books by Peter May.

As talk digressed entertaining tales of travel were regaled, to everyone's amusement.

Review by Ruth Westley