Review of "Bones of the Earth" by Eliot Pattison - a detective story set in occupied Tibet

A disgraced Chinese police detective is now released from the prisoncamp he was send to and allowed to serve as a constable in a village in Tibet. His son is however still in a camp and the high Chinese official who ordered his release has still a firm grip on his life. Near his town a hydro dam is built in a valley that has been sacred to the local people since all times and what is regarded by the local people as Gekho's roost, a local demon God. An executed Tibetan engineer, an American student who died in a car accident, a dead man in the sky train all seem to have a link with this hydro dam project. Chan is ordered to solve the case.

When I was on about 20% of the book I was thinking it reminded me so much of a novel I had read years ago. A fact finding discovery to my bookshelves produced the first novel in this series. This book is the 10th.

The series is set in Tibet and it is clear the writer has a lot of sympathy with the Tibetan people and their culture and detests the occupation and harsh suppression by Beijing.

It might sound strange but due to all the deities and demons and the for me unfamiliar Buddhist religion and Tibetan and Chinese culture and the harsh neglect of human rights and rule of law it felt most of the time as if I was reading a fantasy novel. But then remembering this is real and sometimes we see refugees from Tibet all the way in Europe.

The detective part of the story is nicely done but the real charm is the colour locale.


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