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View all 7 comments. Dec 07, John Williamson rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction.

I found it hard to put down; read it within two days. Needless to say, I enjoyed the story. While I have traveled to China, it gave me a glimpse into the dark-side of China that you only get a glimpse of in movies. Sendker does an amazing job of developing characters and the setting so you can easily imagine yourself witnessing everything that you read. View 1 comment. Thanks to NetGalley and Atria for allowing me access to this advance reader copy. His only son, Justin, died three years ago of leukemia and his wife has di Thanks to NetGalley and Atria for allowing me access to this advance reader copy.

His only son, Justin, died three years ago of leukemia and his wife has divorced him. He lives simply and quietly, keeping his contact with other people to a bare minimum to preserve the memory of his son. Every year, he hikes to the top of a local mountain in a solitary pilgrimage to honor his son who used to accompany him. On this particular year, he makes incidental contact with an American woman, Elizabeth Owen, who is in distress. It turns out her adult son, Michael, has gone missing while in China on business and she begs Paul to assist her and her husband in locating him.

Reluctantly, Paul agrees to help. He asks his old friend Zhang, a detective with the Hong Kong police force, to help. As they investigate, secrets and corruption come to light and both Paul and Zhang have to confront their own inner demons. This book employs the alternating narrator device. This is apparently the first in a trilogy — I will definitely look forward to the next installation and getting to know Paul and Zhang a little better. Mar 26, PopcornReads rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction , family-murder , bestselling-author , family-death , love , cross-cultural , detective-story , relationships , death , crime.

Whispering Shadows is a quite different novel from The Art of Hearing Heartbeats yet it also has the same depth of emotion and the same multi-layered feel to it. Whispering Shadows can be read on the surface as a cross-cultural crime thriller yet it also contains profound statements about relationships, life, and death. Jan 18, Linda rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , 5-star-winners , first-reads , mystery-thrillers , giveaways.

It spread through him and pushed all thoughts of the case of Michael Owen, of Mei or Paul to one side, and made space for memories that he did not want to engage with. Stillness, thought Zhang, is not good for people who want to forget. The writing style of Jan-Philipp Sendker is rich in descriptors of time, place, and character. You are being engaged into the prose not only with your stimulated mind, but also with the stimulation of the senses.

Your heart takes in the heaviness of a father's loss. Your eyes have envisioned the China of the Cultural Revolution and the China of the present. Your olfactory nerves seem to inhale the headiness of the steam rising from the hot pot dishes. And throughout the book, your spirit is on a quest alongside Paul and Zhang to bring justice to a situation wrought with loopholes and entanglements that wind their way from the clutches of the past and into the present living moments. That stillness that is quoted from Zhang is relatable to our own lives.

A common thread that is weaved throughout the story is each character's refusal to deal head-to-head with the pains of the past. The stillness forces us to revisit the heaviness inflicted upon our souls. These "Whispering Shadows" are brought into the light by Jan-Philipp Sendker's stellar ability to capture the angst of the human spirit. He blends these elements of fine characterization, twisting plot situations, and a more than satisfying ending into an exceptional read.

I highly recommend Whispering Shadows and look forward to future offerings by this very talented writer. The Whispering Shadows is the first in a suspenseful new trilogy. The story has equal parts crime thriller, romance and view of China's Cultural Revolution, this novel is at heart, a story about the burden of survival. It packs a punch. The gripping story of Whispering Shadows follows a retired expat journalist in contemporary China who tries to crack a murder case as he battle his own personal demons.

Paul Leibovitz was once an ambitious advisor, a dedicated father, and a loving husband. But after living for nearly thirty years in Hong Kong, personal tragedy strikes Paul's marriage. Paul and his wife Meredith thought that they had both failed as parents as they had not been able to shield their son Justin from Leukemia, leaving Paul's and Meredith marriage falling apart. When Paul meets an American distressed woman Elizabeth and her husband Richard Owen They want Paul to help them find their son who has disappeared. As the investigation delve deeper into the mystery, they begin to uncover some dark secrets at the heart of Hong Kong.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy to review. Jul 09, Jamie rated it did not like it. Couldn't actually finish. The characters are not engaging, but they are interesting. The problem is the history and politics that abound. After slogging through dozens of really boring pages, I read the character saying that he had only a passing interest in it. Well that was it for me. Whatever passing interest I had, passed.

Dec 18, Judy Collins rated it really liked it Shelves: new-releases , netgalley-arc , books-read-in , mystery , crime-thriller , fiction , crime , romantic-suspense , corruption , cultural. A gripping suspense story of a retired journalist in contemporary China attempting to crack a murder case, as he battles his own demons and loss of his son.

A unique character, Paul Leibovitz has lived in Hong Kong for thirty years until personal tragedy hit, and his life began to unravel and fall part piece by piece. After the death of Paul and Meredith son, Justin dies of leukemia, Paul withdraws and buys a house on Lamma, an island- a ferry ride from Hong Kong. Living in isolation on an exotic island he meets an American woman whose son has gone missing and she wants him to help her solve the mystery behind the disappearance and into the underworld.

Since Justin's death, he has not associated with hardly anyone except Christine, a Hong Kong—based single mother, and Zhang, a homicide detective in Shenzhen. Under the bricks, cement, high rises, real estate development, airports, and all the new exploding development, there is evil, power, greed, and corruption. He wonders about the people who lived here thirty years ago. In the last thirty years, despite all the advances in medical science, children die.

People are consumed by feelings of guilt or sink into self-pity, unable to bear the emptiness or refused to let their children die. Life must go on.

The under story is the police detective recalling his life during the Cultural Revolution and how his life intersects with the powerful Chinese businessman deeply involved in the murder investigation. The face of this country had changed with complexities beyond comprehension. An absorbing mystery of the old versus the new -- A chilling account taking you to the darkest places, the fears, the anxieties and the struggles, to the most exotic and riches, for an almost mesmerizing adventure, keeping you glued to the pages. Rich in vivid exquisite settings, nature, culture, emotion, and well developed compelling characters, we learn about each character's complex past and their shared need to find redemption, as they search for the son.

Sendker does an outstanding job in creating the backdrop, as you imagine yourself there; he is in tune with the Eastern philosophies, and cultures, bringing passion, vibrancy, and authenticity to this well-written novel. An ideal choice for book clubs and group discussions. Looking forward to the next in Sendker's intriguing trilogy!

Video Clip Judith D. Collins Must Read Books Jun 15, Barbara rated it really liked it Shelves: adult-fiction. Sendker is able to create complex and real characters that the reader can identify with and have compassion for: imperfections, faults, and all. In this novel, the whispering shadows are the guilt, fright, and insecurities caused by the Chinese Cultural Revolution on the Chinese people.

In his Acknowledgments, Sendker writes that he was inspired by life stories told to him from Chinese people. China is an interesting country, full of complexities and disparities. The main character, Paul Leibovitz is on a self-imposed isolation in Hong Kong due to the death of his young son. A troubled American woman, Elizabeth Owens, asks for his help during a coincidental meeting. Against his innate sense, he agrees to help. Beyond learning more about China, this is a superb thriller.

The reader gets to read a masterfully paced thriller while being frustrated with the cultural nuances of the Chinese. I highly recommend it. View all 3 comments. Disclaimer: This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this one. I loved the complexities. It did take a long time for the story to really take off, since it was more character-driven. I think my biggest issue was with the fact that when dealing with the big baddie it was resolved a little too quickly. Feb 22, Gail Nelson rated it really liked it. Absolutely love Jan Philipp Sendker.

His writing is like no one else's. This is a very different kind of book for him. Predictable but still enjoyable! Mar 18, Christine Dolan rated it really liked it. It's a very long time since I read a book so quickly. I thought I was going to struggle with it, as the beginning is terribly sad, about the death of a child.

But I knew it was a crime thriller, so I raced through that bit. Once I got to the investigation, I found it to be a tense page-turner. All the bits about the Chinese Cultural Revolution were interesting, too. It's the first one of a trilogy, and the second one is available. I'm buying it right now on Kindle, as I can't wait to read it. Tha It's a very long time since I read a book so quickly. Thanks for this book, Kathy! Oct 29, Haniya Voracious Bookling rated it did not like it.

Mar 03, Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it. Strife, which will play a significant role in their lives, both good and bad. The novel takes place in China and uses the changes in Chinese culture, especially between the mainland and Hong Kong, to show how these changes effect the perspective of not only the foreigner doing business with the Chinese, but how the Chinese have adopted the idea of capitalization.

It also portrays a country seeped in corruption in business and government. Paul Leibovitz is facing the loss of his young son and divorce and removes himself from society. It seems he has only one friend, Zhang, a Chinese detective. Zhang has been battling his own demons that go back to when he was a member of the Red Guard under Mao.

A young American businessman is found murdered and Zhang begins to question how his compatriots are handling the case. It seems to cut and dry, especially when a factory worker, under duress, admits to the murder. Paul discovers that the confessed murderer has an iron clad alibi and looks into the business transactions of the young man. He begins to believe that the murder may be tied to these transactions and the monetary and political greed associated with the Chinese government.

Jan-Philipp Sendker

This is the first book in a trilogy and is an excellent read for those looking for a good mystery tied to the cultural changes within China. Jan 10, Kristin rated it really liked it. Interesting mystery novel that also provides some insight into the current and potentially long term ramifications for China culture, economy, development, etc. For example: "In a very short time, buildings hundreds of years old that had borne witness to the past had disappeared in those cities [Chengdu, Chongqing, Shanghai, Wuhun].

Razed to the ground as though they had never existed [especially their historic qu Interesting mystery novel that also provides some insight into the current and potentially long term ramifications for China culture, economy, development, etc. Razed to the ground as though they had never existed [especially their historic quarters in their city centers, where everything has been razed to the ground and a forest of high rise buildings put up in their place].

At times like these, it seemed to him that this untrammeled building frenzy and the incredible rate of change were a desperate attempt to flee from history, and the new high-rise buildings, roads, highways, airports and factories were not so much signs of progress as giant memorials to the desire to forget.

As if you could brick up memories. As if you could cement them all away and plaster over them. As if you could leave your shadow beind if you only walked fast enough. Feb 07, Michael Skelton rated it liked it. My wife and mother-in-law loved this book. I am giving it three stars because of several reasons.

One, I am hard pressed to understand how Paul gets roped into a murder investigation after a five minute conversation at a diner on top of a mountain. Secondly, this whole book goes to great lengths to establish that Tang is a super powerful man, above law enforcement, but all of a sudden after one phone call, he is impisoned and all is well. Third of all, since the death of his son, Paul lives the My wife and mother-in-law loved this book. Third of all, since the death of his son, Paul lives the life of a hermit with next to zero interactions with others.

Then, a few days into this elaborate murder investigation, he goes toe to toe in a face off with Tang, each challenging the other with their wit, wisdom and cleverness. That is entertaining but hardly realistic for a man living in near solitude for so long. It just didn't all work so well for me. Jun 25, Chris rated it liked it Shelves: fiction. The first 50 pages of this are a major downer-man loses child to cancer and withdraws from the world and you wonder why are you reading this. However, I'd read Sendker's first two books and knew what a good storyteller he is and how adept he is at drawing the reader into his world.

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And it happened again. It's got family secrets, guilt, and these elements are not only unique to the main character, Paul. Paul finds redemption once he emerges from his hermetic shell and there's a bit of a thriller The first 50 pages of this are a major downer-man loses child to cancer and withdraws from the world and you wonder why are you reading this. Paul finds redemption once he emerges from his hermetic shell and there's a bit of a thriller aspect as we have an amateur taking on a skilled, power broker in China.

Wondering if Sendker will be persona non grata in China with this book exposing imaginary "tragic" events during the Cultural Revolution. Jan 04, Denise rated it really liked it Shelves: arc , fiction , a-favorite-author , reading. This was quite different from Sendker's The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and its sequel, but the writing and pace were still perfect. The characters were very special, almost magical, as Sendker's characters tend to be. The story, part love story and murder mystery, is very interesting and moves well. It is set in Hong Kong and China and the reader is given some bonus history about the Cultural Revolution.

I read this book in two days so I definitely recommend it. I really enjoyed this book and tha This was quite different from Sendker's The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and its sequel, but the writing and pace were still perfect. I really enjoyed this book and thank the publisher for the opportunity to read it early. Jun 21, Kathe Coleman rated it really liked it. Having lived in Hong Kong for thirty years he buys a house on Lamma, an island just a ferry boat ride from Hong Kong, where he has become a recluse.

He has associated with almost no one except Christine, a Hong Kong—based single mother, and Zhang, a homicide detective in Shenzhen. Zhang also broken and is confronting the demo Whispering Shadows by Jan-Philipp Sendker Part love story, part crime thriller.


Zhang also broken and is confronting the demons of his past. Enjoyed learning about the Chinese Cultural Revolution. May 25, Delta rated it liked it Shelves: finished-first-reads , z This is the first book by Sendker I've read, so I can't compare. I had a hard time slogging through the rather boring passages discussing contemporary Chinese culture and politics. And it's not the subject matter because I've enjoyed several non-fiction books about the subject.

The mystery was okay, but not terribly interesting. It was the plot to a thriller, but missing all the action. May 12, Marina rated it it was ok. No, I am sorry for writing this, but no, Jan-Philipp Sendker did not do it again. The story is so well structured, the characters are so deep and the descriptions are so vibrant that Whispering Shadows succeeds as quality literary fiction Robert S. Sendker's understanding of the modern Chinese dilemma—a complex ambivalence about capitalism—is both effective and important, for it haunts the central discourse of the novel.

Indeed, it is Sendker's appreciation for his characters' memories of China's Cultural Revolution, in Deng Xiaoping's "enterprise zone" and throughout China, that creates the real tension in the novel. In many ways, the actual mystery is secondary; the absorbing questions are more novelistic and focus on the emotional development of several key characters.

Whispering Shadows | Discogs

Thus the novel is really about emerging: the tortuous development of modern China and the equally painful movement away from absorbing loss Diane P. This review was originally published in April , and has been updated for the February paperback release. Click here to go to this issue. A tale of courage in the face of arrogance that remains eerily relevant on U.

Reader Reviews. It's also compulsively readable. Illuminating and deeply human, Today We Go Home shines a light on the brave military women of the past and present. Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect? BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

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