Monday, May 31, 2021

Thief of Souls by Brian Klingborg


I love mysteries so I was excited to get a copy of THIEF OF SOULS. This is a really good noir crime drama set in China. The author is not Chinese but he majored in Cultural Anthropology in Harvard and lived and worked in China, so all of the details felt really vivid and meshed with the #OwnVoices works of fiction that I have read. The main character is a man named Lu who was given a promotion that was a punishment, as it banished him from Harbin to the rural countryside, where there isn't really any "real crime."

Until, of course, one day there is.

Not only is this a murder mystery, it's also a really interesting look at the idea of "face," and how complex the business relations can be in China when everyone is trying to follow protocol. The perp is super creepy and the backstory for them was great, too. Lu is also very sarcastic and jaded, which you would expect for a noir crime hero. I found myself really liking the dark humor in the book as it fit well with the mood the author was trying to create.

I think if you like Scandinavian-type crime thrillers, you'll really enjoy this, as it has the same hardened noir vibe. I see that this is book one in a new series and I'll definitely be reading book two.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

4 out of 5 stars

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