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The Master of Rain Hardcover – April 16, 2002
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Bradby, a seasoned correspondent for Britain's ITN television network, has obviously spent considerable time researching 1920s Shanghai. His feel for the city's Byzantine society and exotic textures is matched by his accessible vision of Shanghai as a junction of international fallout and internal intrigue. Less compelling, if not outright distracting, is Bradby's more contemporary emphasis on ghastly serial killings with a sex-crime edge. But in the end, the book's remarkable prose and density of experience are uniquely rewarding. --Tom Keogh
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Field soon finds himself trying to navigate through waters he doesn't quite understand. To begin, the police department (a multinational concern) is split up into two rival departments -- Special Branch that deals mainly with the communist threat, and the Criminal Division which deals with all other types of crime, like murder, theft, etc -- that are at odds with each other. Neither division quite trusts the other, and each suspects the other of consorting with the local crime lord, Lu Huang. Field has been assigned to Special Branch, but finds himself seconded to the Criminal Branch for the duration of this investigation into the murder of Lena Orlov. The ritualistic and savage manner with which the murder was carried out suggests that the murderer has struck before, and that he will strike again. In the face of public apathy (after all the victim was only another Russian prostitute), Field soon finds that his only allies to solving this murder happen to be the two detectives he's currently working with, Caprisi and Chen. But the more they investigate, the more evidence they uncover of corruption and criminal activity. No one seems above board.Read more ›
Not knowing much of China myself, I felt a weird sense of sympathy for the country and could almost see the purpose that communism served there. Through his diverse characters, you will obtain insight into the impact of foreigners on the country, the division of classes within its borders, the skin trade, drug smuggling, and the brutality inherent in organized crime.
A brilliant book! A history lesson on a subject rarely talked about with the bonus of a solid mystery. A little slow in starting out but stick with it, once it takes off it is worth it.
Richard Field is a young Englishman, recently trained police officer, who is working in Shanghai in the pre-Communist days. Shanghai is a city of contrasts with a French section, an International section and the Chinese section. Each have their own authority in policing their regions. Field works in the International Settlement with his English speaking colleagues. In his first case, he finds himself investigating the brutal stabbing of a Russian prostitute. It seems she was the property of a local crime lord, Lu Huang. Field wants to work the case but he meets resistance along the way. Most would rather not go up against Lu and his umbrella of fear. Field, therefore, faces much difficulty. To complicate matters, he falls in love with another of Lu's Russian women, Natasha Medvedev. This, of course, places him directly into the path of Lu's wrath. Danger abounds as Field tries to solve the crime and very possibly save the woman he loves.
Tom Bradby has done copious research in his attempt to bring to life the exotic locale of Shanghai in the year 1926. A detailed map is found in the inside cover of the book thereby setting out the sheer depth that the author will use to tell his story. Characters, both the elegant and the poor are carefully crafted and frequently enter and exit the complex stage as Field goes about his investigation. As is so often the case in these epic detail rich historical novels, pacing suffers as a result. Yet, the exotic locale, the fine writing and the superior characterizations make up for the leisurely pace. THE MASTER OF THE RAIN is well worth the readers full attention.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After watching a movie based on one of the author's other books I had to read all by the author that I could find. Read morePublished on August 26, 2013 by L. Brewer
This book is so poorly written, the characters so contrived, the plot so full of holes that I scarcely know where to begin in reviewing it. Well, yes I do. Read morePublished on April 19, 2010 by Daniel Myers
This was an interesting read. I would like to have given it 3.5 stars. That seems like the appropriate rating. The plot was well done. It didn't bog down at any point. Read morePublished on February 21, 2009 by James Tetreault
At this stage of writing it is difficult to add new insight; the 22 reviews before me have covered most reviewing stances. Read morePublished on January 15, 2009 by Paul Hoffman
Shanghai 1926 -- a humid, brooding city carved up between competing interests. The British, Americans and French all have their own imperialist enclaves, each with its own police... Read morePublished on July 13, 2008 by Alan A. Elsner
Don't even think this novel will stretch your mind. You'll easily figure out the entire plot and ending by page 80--max. Read morePublished on August 7, 2007 by Frances
This book is poorly written, lacking character development and plot. If you are fond of Ken Follett, don't bother reading this. There is no comparison.Published on July 22, 2006 by N. Reese
In Tom Bradby's "The Master of Rain", detective Richard Field must struggle through the various dangers and pleasures of 1926 Shanghai, all while pursuing a deadly serial killer... Read morePublished on July 5, 2006 by Prauge Traveler