Sendker, Jan-Philipp "Whispering Shadows" (German: Das Flüstern der Schatten) - 2007
So far, I had only read the non-fiction book "Risse in der großen Mauer" [Cracks in the Great Wall] by Jan-Philipp Sendker and liked it very much.
Then I found this novel in a bookstore and the description spoke to me. I usually don't read detective stories, most of them are not "deep" enough for me.
But this novel is so much more than a crime story, it gives an insight into today's China of which we still know far too little. The author reports about the grief of a man who has lost his son. And he talks about the slow healing after a heavy blow.
The book is both philosophic and informative. An excellent story. The author has previously worked as a correspondent in Asia. You can tell that he has a lot of insight and background information. I have read the next part of the trilogy "Drachenspiele" [Dragon Games] and hope they will translate that one soon, as well.
From the back cover:
"The first in a suspenseful new trilogy by the internationally bestselling author of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, this gripping story follows a retired expat journalist in contemporary China who tries to crack a murder case as he battles his own personal demons.
American expat Paul Leibovitz was once an ambitious advisor, dedicated father, and loving husband. But after living for nearly thirty years in Hong Kong, personal tragedy strikes and Paul's marriage unravels in the fallout.
Now Paul is living as a recluse on an outlying island of Hong Kong. When he makes a fleeting connection with Elizabeth, a distressed American woman on the verge of collapse, his life is thrown into turmoil. Less than twenty-four hours later, Elizabeth's son is found dead in Shenzhen, and Paul, invigorated by a newfound purpose, sets out to investigate the murder on his own.
As Paul, Elizabeth, and a detective friend descend deeper into the Shenzhen underworld;against the wishes of a woman with whom Paul has had a flirtation;they discover dark secrets hidden beneath China's booming new wealth. In a country where rich businessmen with expensive degrees can corrupt the judicial system, the potential for evil abounds.
Part love story, part crime thriller, The Whisper of the Shadow is the captivating tale of one man's desperate search for redemption within the vice of a world superpower, a place where secrets from the past threaten to upend the country's unchecked drive towards modernization."