Eliot Pattison is the author of eight Inspector Shan novels, set in Tibet: The Skull Mantra (which won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel), Water Touching Stone, Bone Mountain, and Beautiful Ghosts, Prayer of the Dragon, The Lord of Death, and Mandarin Gate. This series has been translated into over twenty languages around the world. A former resident of Boston and Washington, Pattison now resides on an 18th-century farm in Pennsylvania with his wife, their three children, and an ever-expanding menagerie of animals.
The discovery of two mutilated corpses and a comatose stranger on the ancient pilgrims' path up Tibet's Sleeping Dragon mountain throws former Beijing special investigator Shan into a quandary at the start of Edgar-winner Pattison's atmospheric fifth mystery set in Tibet (after 2005's Beautiful Ghosts). The detective and gulag escapee, who has been mysteriously summoned to the remote hamlet of Drango along with his lama friends Lokesh and Gendun, refuses to let the survivor be summarily executed for murder, putting himself and the equally outlaw monks in jeopardy. Shan soon finds himself with just days to delve into a deepening conundrum that hints at both modern corruption and ancient evil. Pattison fans will savor all the Tibetan flavor they have come to expect as well as an intriguing subplot exploring possible kinship between Tibetans and the Navajo. (Tony Hillerman buffs, take note.) Although first-timers may initially stumble over the abundance of foreign names, the journey, like the climb up Sleeping Dragon, soon becomes both frightening and unforgettable. (Dec.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
In his fifth case (after Beautiful Ghosts), Shan Tao Yun-former Beijing special investigator, ex-convict, and now an illegal resident in Tibet studying with Buddhist gurus Lokesh and Gendum-is called to a remote village to investigate two gruesome mutilation murders. The suspect, found at the scene in a deep trance, is a Navajo man seeking ancestral connections between his people and the Tibetans. Shan discovers that the village is ruled by a despot intent on keeping his position of authority at any cost. Once again, Edgar Award winner Pattison demonstrates his mastery of storytelling and rich characterization while bringing to light the destruction of Tibet's mountains by the Chinese and illegal gold miners. Only Colin Cotterill comes close to this perfection. Highly recommended for all collections. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 8/07; in December, Pattison is launching a new historical mystery series set during the French and Indian War (1753-63) in upstate New York; look for the review of Bone Rattler in LJ 11/15/07.-Ed.] Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Praise for the Inspector Shan Series
"Surprises and mysteries abound . . . [Prayer of the Dragon] taught me more about Tibet--modern and ancient--than I had managed to learn elsewhere over the years."
--The Washington Post
"I've seldom read a novel that more effectively captures the soul of its setting, in all of its contradictions, difficulties and beauty."
--Nancy Pearl, NPR
"Nothing I've read or seen about how China has systematically crushed the soul of Tibet has been as effective . . . A thriller of laudable aspirations and achievements."
"A cocktail of action and adventure . . . A great read."
"Shan becomes our Don Quixote . . . Set against a background that is alternately bleak and blazingly beautiful, this is at once a top-notch thriller and a substantive look at Tibet under siege."
--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"A rich and multilayered story that mirrors the complexity of the surrounding land."
--San Francisco Chronicle