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Bones of the Earth: An Inspector Shan Tao Yun Mystery    by Eliot Pattison order for
Bones of the Earth
by Eliot Pattison
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I was thrilled to receive an advance copy of Eliot Pattison's Bones of the Earth, tenth in his superb series starring Inspector Shan Tao Yun. Disgraced for anti-corruption investigations in Beijing and incarcerated in Southern Tibet's Lhadrung Valley, Shan labored hard alongside Buddhist monks. Thus began his own spiritual journey, one that readers have followed in the previous nine episodes of this incredible story.

This one involves corrupt officials; multiple murders (including that of an American archaeology student); the quest for vengeance of the student's father; a power struggle involving a mellowing (somewhat) Colonel Tan; a huge hydro construction project; and very old gods. Lieutenant Meng, Shan's one romantic interest in the series (Pattison is as at least as hard on his characters as Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin) reappears with a surprising companion. Shan's son Ko risks his life, and so earns a new one.

Though my enjoyment was tempered by knowing it's the series conclusion, Bones of the Earth is another remarkable read, and one in which the author finally does ease up on his lead, leaving readers with hope for Shan Tao Yu in the ending ... 'Lha Gyal lo! (Victory to the gods!)'

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