Other Books in Series
This is book number 1 in the The Rising Dragon Series series.
Whispering Shadows by Jan-Philipp Sendker begins in Hong Kong where German-American expat, Paul Leibovitz has lived for the past three decades. He is living as a hermit, his life in shambles, devastated by grief from the death of his young son, and his ruined marriage. His life of isolation on a small island outside Hong Kong, is interrupted by an encounter with Elizabeth, an Amer-ican woman trying to find her son. Michael Owen was in China managing the family business, he was proficient and seemed to be doing well. Michael has gone missing, Elizabeth and Richard Owen are in Hong Kong trying to find him. Paul was a journalist, he is capable of finding out what has happened. Elizabeth prevails on Paul to help in her search for Michael. Throughout his iso-lation Paul has kept in touch with two friends, Zhang a homicide detective and Christine, a single mother. While Christine coun-sels against getting involved, Zhang joins forces with Paul to discover what happened to the missing American. Within a day, Michael’s body will be found in Shenzen. Soon a man is arrested, but possibly he is not the right man. Zhang and Paul continue, without offi-cial sanction, trying to find the truth. Zhang has secrets of his own that come out as the story progresses. The murder of the American busi-nessman will reach into the dark side of China’s burgeoning new prosperity. Sendker writes with a pace that allows for an exploration of the culture and landscape of China while telling a mystery with plenty twists and turns. This is the first in an expected trilogy.— Deon Stonehouse
May 2015 Indie Next List
“The author of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats focuses again on what he knows best: the human condition. Love, trust, and friendship are exquisitely woven into a beautiful narrative that draws the reader into another world. Paul Leibovitz has made his home in Hong Kong and has had a very successful life, but a personal tragedy involving his son leaves him bereft and isolated. As he struggles to navigate the losses in his life, Paul is drawn into a mystery involving a missing American businessman. Paul and his Chinese friend, Zhang, attempt to discover the truth and are caught in a web of distrust and lies, and Chinese culture and political history play significant roles in resolving the crime. I loved it!”
— Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
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.
About the Author
Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Wall, a nonfiction book about China. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, his first novel, was an international bestseller. He lives in Berlin with his family.
“An absorbing mystery set in a Hong Kong tourists only glimpse—the dark underside of a money-making beehive trying to find its place in a cynically corrupt new China. Vivid and knowing.” —Joseph Kanon, New York Times bestselling author of Istanbul Passage
— Joseph Kanon
“A stunning mystery in which a twisted murder investigation pulls back the curtain on a country whose culture and history have been shaped as much by our American capitalism as its own communism. Whispering Shadows is a thoughtful, moving, and profoundly revelatory read. ”
— Attica Locke
“The incomparable Jan-Philipp Sendker immerses us in the complexities of a ‘new China,’ entirely different and yet somehow ineluctably the same as the old. At once lyrical and suspenseful, this is a novel that moved me, even as it showed me an unfamiliar world.”
— Ayelet Waldman
"A darkly beautiful, heart-wrenching portrayal of the Cultural Revolution's devastating social legacy."
— Booklist, starred
"When you hear crime novel, you think you know what toexpect. When you hear love story, you might believe you know the outcome. Yet,in Jan-Phillipp Sendker's astonishing new novel, set against the seamy backdropof modern day China, he melds the two to create something so original,thrilling and moving about the things we want, and what we're prepared to do toget them. A murder story was never so ravishing."
— Caroline Leavitt