Readers will find a bit of everything needed in a novel in this promising debut. An exotic setting - Shanghai in the 1930s - great atmosphere, gang warfare, a Romeo and Juliet romance, intrigue, murder, and a river monster. The story moves along apace and keeps you guessing. Extremely violent, but somehow the violence seems incidental and remote as the victims are always viewed at a distance and one murderous gang is as bad as the other.
The man only runs and runs, past the neon delights of the theatres as the last of their lights wink off, past the whispers crawling under the front doors of brothels, past the sweet dreams of merchants who sleep with piles of money underneath their mattresses.
And he is long gone by the time there are only dead men lying along the ports of Shanghai, their throats torn out and their eyes staring up at the night sky, glassy with the reflection of the moon.