Autopsies are considered gruesome for most of us, but 18 bodies in a mass grave in Shanghai chill even the professionals—these bodies appear to have been autopsied while alive. The grisly murders appear tied to an unsolved case in Beijing, so the whole mess becomes the responsibility of Beijing Detective Li Yan. He calls for the help of his estranged lover, American pathologist Margaret Campbell and the hunt is on. If the case were not difficult enough, the young deputy head of Shanghai's serious crime squad sets her eyes on Li, Margaret is just back from burying her father, and Li's young niece is kidnapped.
This was my first Peter May read, but it certainly won't be my last! I enjoyed the portrayal of China and its customs and being with characters who, while flawed, are good people performing badly under pressure.