Hello, friends, fellow bloggers, and avid readers! Today is my stop of the blog tour of the book City of Shadows by M.J.Lee. It is the second book in the series and I am sure you’ll enjoy it.
A family of four is found murdered in the heart of one of the new Art Deco estates in the city. It’s a brutal crime, committed without mercy.
Under questioning, a suspect confesses, but Danilov is not convinced of his guilt. When the accused is murdered on the steps of the police station, he investigates to clear the man’s name,
diving deep into the dark heart of Shanghai, uncovering the greed and jealousy, triads and police corruption that lurks in the City of Shadows.
This is the second book in the Danilov series. The first, Death in Shanghai, is also available from Carina.
An entire family is dead. Slaughtered. A husband and wife, two little children. Someone entered into their home and killed them in the most brutal way. The killers shot some of the victims, cut the throat of the others. But nothing is taken. The jewelry, the money, the papers, it is all there, not even touched.
Soon after the murders happen, a person has been arrested. He confesses the crime. But Inspector Danilov isn’t confident about it. The man is obviously beaten by the police officers and the confession doesn’t hold water at all. Something fishy is going on here.
Inspector Danilov’s personal life is getting better this time, sort of. He has found his daughter Elina, but the relationship with her is not good at all. She has gone through hell just to stay alive and find her father and now she accuses him of all the bad things that happened to their family. And the father doesn’t know how to talk to his teenage daughter who is growing into a woman.
Danilov is missing his wife terribly and seeks her in the pipe full of opium. But the escape from reality can’t last forever. With a police officer missing and main suspect of murder killed, he has no time for fooling around. People need justice. He needs justice.
The plot of the story is set up in Shanghai in 1920-s. The author well described the surroundings, you can almost see the lights of the city at night and smell the fish and opium. This time, we can see more of the personal lives of the inspector and the detective, walk into their homes and meet their families. Danilov has his daughter, Elina, and Strachan has his Chinese mother.
There was one small thing that bothered me. Elina’s surname. Not many people will notice, especially in the western world, but „Danilov“ is male’s last name. In Russian, and all Slavic languages, most surnames change depending on the gender of the person. Her last name should be „Danilova“, simply because she is a female. Male last names always end with -ov, -ski, -n or-y, but female last names have one more -a at the end, like -ova,-ska or -aya. For example, my father’s last name is Stevkovski, and mine and my mother’s are Stevkovska. -A at the end refers to women. It is still the same surname. Just remember Anna Karenina and her husband, Karenin.
Overall, I enjoyed Inspector Danilov’s adventures in the city of shadows and opium. His escape from reality doesn’t make him a lousy cop. It is just his way to handle all the problems that he carries on his back. His mind is one of a kind and together with Detective Sergeant Strachan they make a perfect crime fighting duo. I would love to see more of them in the next book.
My opinion: 4 / 5.
About the book
You can buy City of Shadows on Amazon UK
Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
Whilst working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarter of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in 1920s and 30s.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.