Last Days in Shanghai

Last Days in Shanghai

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Luke Slade, a young Congressional aide, begins this business trip to China like all other international travel he's endured with "Lyin' Leo": buried under a slew of diplomatic runarounds, non-functioning cell phones, and humiliation from the Congressman at every turn. But on day two, a new challenge rears its ugly head: Leo goes on a drunken bender and disappears into the night. Unsure what dubious business his corrupt and buffoonish boss had planned, Luke must piece together the Congressman's lies while maintaining appearances with their Chinese contacts. Amidst the confusion, a little bleary from jet-lag and alcohol, Luke receives a briefcase full of money from the mayor of a rural Chinese province. Luke accepts the "gift" in his daze, but when he later realizes his mistake and tries to return the cash, he discovers even more anxiety-inducing news. The mayor is dead. As Luke tries to unravel the complex minefield of corruption he's tumbled into, he must also confront his own role in the events. Unwitting marionette? Fall guy? Or perhaps someone more capable of moral compromise than he would have liked to believe. Last Days in Shanghai is an unforgettable debut by a writer to watch. It's both a hold-on-to-your-seat thriller and a pitch-perfect exploration of present day China-the country's rapacious capitalism, the shocking boom of its cities and the wholesale eradication of its traditions.
Publisher: Berkeley : Counterpoint, 2014.
ISBN: 9781619024304
Characteristics: 232 pages ; 24 cm.


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Jun 17, 2015

This could have been a topical and gripping story about western and Chinese politicians and businessmen corrupting one another. Sadly, the story is buried under lengthy descriptions of the narrator's past, thoughts and observations -- none of which are remotely interesting. The character is juvenile, his thoughts are confused and the descriptions of China are cliché. The mystery is simply murky. Instead of suspense, there is tedium. Too bad, because the author clearly put a lot of effort into this novel.

Apr 24, 2015

I found this novel to be a very different mystery of political intrigue. I enjoyed the main character & his feistiness as he accompanied the congressman to Shanghai & became entrapped in his own situation. It was a fast & good read by a new author.


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