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.
Paul Leibovitz, the hero of this contemplative, understated novel from Sendker (The Art of Hearing Heartbeats), feels bereft after his young son dies of leukemia. A long-time Hong Kong resident, the German-born Leibovitz is now divorced and living a reclusive life on the outlying island of Lamma, where his obsession for keeping the memories of his son alive has kept him in a continual state of mourning. But his aimless existence is given meaning and put into grave danger when he helps an old friend, a Chinese homicide detective, find the truth behind the murder of an American businessman. A burgeoning albeit fragile relationship with a woman he meets while walking complicates his life further. Equal parts crime thriller, romance, and examination of the impact of China s Cultural Revolution on those who endured its atrocities, this novel is, at its heart, a story about the burden of survival. Despite a predictable ending, it still packs a wallop.