Internationally bestselling author Jan-Philipp Sendker’s Whispering Shadows was “a darkly beautiful, heart-wrenching” (Booklist, starred review) journey through bustling Hong Kong’s sinister underbelly. The captivating second book in the high-stakes Rising Dragon series plunges us deeper into the dangerous heart of Chinese politics.
Brooding expat and journalist Paul Leibovitz is beginning to imagine a new life for himself in Hong Kong, one in which the grief over a recent family tragedy doesn’t consume him and his love for Christine Wu brings him great joy. When Christine gets an unexpected and emotionally-charged letter from her estranged brother, Paul journeys with her to a remote village outside of Shanghai, where a mysterious illness is affecting the locals.
Paul discovers a powerful chemical conglomerate is polluting a nearby lake, and Chinese officials are doing nothing to stop it. The victims demand justice, but taking legal action could prove even more dangerous than the strange disease itself. Government intimidation and political corruption threaten to suppress even the most passionate and audacious environmental activists. If Paul doesn’t walk away, he could pull the woman he loves reluctantly back into a world she escaped from decades ago—putting their relationship and their lives at risk.
Suspenseful and rife with the page-turning storytelling that defines Sendker’s remarkable work and harkens back to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, The Language of Solitude offers a peerless look into contemporary China.
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.
"[T]his new novel gives readers another vivid, fascinating, and haunting look at today's China. Highly recommended." — Library Journal, Starred Review
"Sendker draws on broad knowledge of Chinese politics and mores to craft scenes both comic and tragic, illuminating how ordinary people struggle to navigate opaque, omniscient systems of power...[T]his novel offers a rich portraid of compromise and courage under a repressive state." — Publishers Weekly
“Sendker turns in another tour de force of suspenseful intrigue and nuanced characters grappling with the ambiguities of a foreign culture” — Booklist
Praise for WHISPERING SHADOWS:
“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