Experience the secretive and dangerous new China in this explosive thriller from renowned journalist John Gapper
This wasn’t just a body in a field. The corpse’s shape was hers – same length, same curves. Then she knew, and everything else receded to nothingness. All she could see was a woman with the same nose, the same eyes, and the same face.
Agent Song Mei is a rising star in the Commission for Discipline Inspection. Her days are spent investigating political corruption… until she arrives on the scene of a gruesome murder and is confronted with a crime – and a victim – that is impossible to ignore.
Ignoring the warnings and threats of her superiors, Mei throws herself into a quest to uncover the mystery surrounding the corpse before her, which takes her into the dark heart of modern-day China. Soon it becomes clear that shadowy forces at home and abroad are implicated in a complex and far-reaching conspiracy.
From corrupt Communist officials, to tragedy-haunted CIA agents, through to suicidal factory workers, The Ghost Shift is a devastating portrait of a country coming to terms with the twenty-first century, and a brilliant and driven heroine coming to terms with her past.
John Gapper is chief business commentator and associate editor of the Financial Times and a regular on BBC and CNN. He is also the author of A Fatal Debt. He lives in London.
In Gapper's uneven thriller set in contemporary Guangdong, China, 23-year-old police detective Song Mei investigates the suspicious death of a young woman who worked at Long Tan Technology, which makes smartphones and tablets for an Apple-like company. Mei is shocked to discover that the victim is her twin sister, whose existence she was unaware of. The complex, confusing backstory reveals that both girls were abandoned at birth and that Mei was adopted by American parents. Gapper (The Fatal Debt) takes his time building to the main action, which involves Mei infiltrating Long Tan to find out what happened to her twin and what's going on in the factory, particularly the super-secretive "ghost shift" of the title. At this point, the narrative becomes palpably and cinematically suspenseful, and the reader gets a compelling portrait of industrialized China. But the thrills of this well-written, often intelligent book are just too slow in coming.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Brilliant crime thriller
The storyline was difficult to get into at first with lots of different characters, locations and dates but once they started tying in together the book got hard to put down. Excellent mix of thrills, emotion and culture. Personally, I enjoyed it more as I was able to relate to the locations, landmarks and cultural differences, having travelled China extensively myself.
This is an unusual plot and a riveting read. I had not read a John Gapper novel, but will now be reading his other works. Definitely recommend this book.