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The Master of Rain

The Master of Rain

A hard-boiled detective thriller, possibly the first of its time to be set in Shanghai in the 1920s. It's about a young British policeman whose first case is the brutal murder of a Russian girl. Tom Bradby has worked as a journalist for most of his life (he was a foreign correspondent in Asia for many years), and the knowledge he has gained in this occupation shows through clearly. The book is meticulously researched so as to be historically accurate: it explains that in the 1920s, Shanghai had an 'international settlement' (British-controlled part of the city), and a 'French Concession' (French-controlled); the effects of the Russian revolution can also be seen, with the Russian nobles emigrating to Shanghai as refugees, and the police on the lookout for Bolshevik 'threats'. Bradby has a fast-paced, concise style perfectly suited to a hard-boiler, and the plot is an absolute killer, with twists and turns every step of the way. The most important feature of this book, however, is its portrayal of an utterly corrupt society. Bradby presents a wonderful array of characters, and as you read through it, more and more of them are unexpectedly revealed to be corrupted by organised crime. Dangerous, exotic, romantic, suspense-filled, and full of dry wit. Literally a killer read!

Author: Tom Bradby

Year published: 2002

Filed in: Crime