A poundingly paced thriller that evokes with razor-sharp detail the atmosphere of modern Shanghai s noodle shops, bars, prisons, back alleys, and cultural spectacles, Dragon s Eye is a masterful debut that introduces a great modern detective, Chief Investigator Sun Piao.
It s a case no homicide investigator in his right mind would want to handle eight bodies mutilated beyond all recognition shackled together and writhing with the tide in a bizarre choreography of death in the mudflats of the Huangpu River. No morgue will admit the scalpel-precision of the lacerations there is little doubt that the Party is behind this. Impeded at every turn by bureaucratic obstacles, intimidation, and surveillance, Piao must fall back on his own resources to find those responsible for the murders whose victims, he shortly finds, have no identities. He knows he should walk away from this case, to do otherwise is a violation of every survival instinct he possesses, but above the shouted warnings and veiled threats he hears the call of the dead to be avenged. And as a cog in the cadre system that rules modern China, a society whose darkest side is closed off to outsiders but all too apparent to citizens, he s had to walk away from too many things, too many times.
Joined by Yaobang, his boisterously faithful and foul-mouthed deputy, and given a narrow mandate to proceed in his investigation by his chief, Paio discovers that one of the victims was a young American archaeologist, and he is soon joined in his investigation by the victim s mother, Barbara Hayes, a politician impelled to find her son s killer. With each new clue, a new dimension of the Chinese political system is cracked open, resulting in a vortex of conflicting leads traced to a heart-stopping climax.
"As crafted and complex as a set of Chinese boxes... Dragon's Eye is a get-out-of-jail-free card for the imagination." - The Independent
"Gripping... an original in its genre." - The Observer
"Oakes scatters plenty of well-placed cul-de-sacs into his labyrinthine plot... there is plenty of meat in Dragon's Eye - both literally and metaphorically - to satisfy the crime addict." -Independent on Sunday
"Immerses the reader in the strange and wonderfully alien world of modern China." -Scotland on Sunday
Andy Oakes was born in 1952 and has a certificate in engineering and a degree in psychology. He worked as an engineer and professional photographer before training to be a youth counselor, and now works with young people, specializing in alcohol and substance abuse. He lives in London with his wife and twin daughter and son.