Peter May The Firemaker

ISBN 13: 9780340738351

The Firemaker

 
9780340738351: The Firemaker
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Margaret Campbell is a forensic pathologist from Chicago. Li Yan is a Beijing detective with a horribly burned corpse on his hands. She has a broken life behind her, a lonely future dedicated to her profession in front. He has survived two decades of violent change by marrying himself to a career which now promises, at last, to bring him the respected place in Chinese society that his family lost in the Cultural Revolution. Neither of them is ready for the consequences of asking the wrong questions about the dead man - the ones that lead to the terrifying truth.

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From the Publisher:

A forensic pathologist takes a short-term lecturing job in China to escape the bitter memories of her husband's disgrace and death, little knowing that her decision will change her life.

Too distraught to read her briefing papers, Margaret Campbell makes many mistakes in dealing with the tender sensibilities of the Chinese, whose customs are so different from her own. She gets off to a rocky start with Deputy Section Chief Li Yan, but her expertise with burn victims comes in handy in his investigation of three murders. She soon becomes committed to helping Li solve the murders, apparently the work of a hit man from Hong Kong. Margaret's work with Li exposes her to a broad section of Chinese culture and opens her eyes to a vastly different world that she comes to respect in many ways. With each new discovery, she and Li become more aware of a cover-up by highly placed government officials. Margaret is set up for death by an alcoholic plant geneticist, Li is framed for the death of his beloved uncle and both must run for their lives in the hope that they can tell the world what they know of a dangerous secret that could lead to disaster on a grand scale.

From the Author:

THE FIREMAKER opens the lid on a Pandora's Box of genetic food engineering and gives us a terrifying glimpse of the doomsday scenario that could await if the scientists get it wrong.

Set in contemporary China, it features Beijing detective Li Yan, and American pathologist, Margaret Campbell, as they track the killer of a government scientist whose horribly burned corpse is found smouldering in a Beijing park.

She is a forensic pathologist from Chicago on a six-week lecture trip to the University of Public Security in Beijing. She has fled to China to escape from a broken heart and a shattered life. He is a newly promoted detective who finds himself walking in the footsteps of an uncle who was a near legend in the Beijing police force.

On the night that the scientist is burned to death, there are two other murders in the city. All three are inextricably, but inexplicably, linked.

Li's uncle, now retired, prefers to play chess in the park and dispense his wisdom in Chinese riddles, and the young detective is forced reluctantly to turn for help to the experienced Margaret Campbell whose expertise is burn victims.

From the moment she conducts the autopsy on the government scientist, her future and Li's become as inextricably linked as the murders they are investigating. And as, together, they peel back layer upon layer of obfuscation, the terrible truth they finally uncover sets them on a terrifying course they could never have imagined.

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