In this first book of the Rising Dragon series, “explore a side of Hong Kong tourists rarely experience” (Kirkus Reviews) as an expat journalist tries to crack a murder case in the “darkly beautiful, heart-wrenching” (Booklist, starred review) thriller set in China from the internationally bestselling author of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats.
Once an ambitious American expat and a dedicated family man, Paul Leibovitz is living as a recluse on an outlying island of Hong Kong. When he makes a fleeting connection with Elizabeth, a distressed American woman on the verge of collapse, his life is thrown into turmoil. Less than twenty-four hours later, Elizabeth’s son is found dead in Shenzhen, and Paul, invigorated by a newfound purpose, sets out to investigate the murder on his own.
As Paul, Elizabeth, and a detective friend descend deeper into a politically corrupt China and the Shenzhen underworld—against the wishes of a woman with whom Paul has a growing flirtation—they discover dark secrets and vestiges of the Cultural Revolution that people will go to any lengths to keep hidden. Part love story, part crime thriller, Whispering Shadows is the captivating tale of one man’s desperate search for redemption within the grip of a world superpower, a place where secrets from the past threaten to upend the future.
Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Wall, a nonfiction book about China. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, his first novel, was an international bestseller. He lives in Berlin with his family.
“An absorbing mystery set in a Hong Kong tourists only glimpse—the dark underside of a money-making beehive trying to find its place in a cynically corrupt new China. Vivid and knowing.” —Joseph Kanon, New York Times bestselling author of Istanbul Passage
– Joseph Kanon
“A stunning mystery in which a twisted murder investigation pulls back the curtain on a country whose culture and history have been shaped as much by our American capitalism as its own communism. Whispering Shadows is a thoughtful, moving, and profoundly revelatory read. ”
– Attica Locke, author of Black Water Rising
“The incomparable Jan-Philipp Sendker immerses us in the complexities of a ‘new China,’ entirely different and yet somehow ineluctably the same as the old. At once lyrical and suspenseful, this is a novel that moved me, even as it showed me an unfamiliar world.”
– Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Treasure
"A darkly beautiful, heart-wrenching portrayal of the Cultural Revolution's devastating social legacy."
– Booklist, starred
"When you hear crime novel, you think you know what toexpect. When you hear love story, you might believe you know the outcome. Yet,in Jan-Phillipp Sendker's astonishing new novel, set against the seamy backdropof modern day China, he melds the two to create something so original,thrilling and moving about the things we want, and what we're prepared to do toget them. A murder story was never so ravishing."
– Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You