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Review | The Firemaker, The Fourth Sacrifice & The Killing Room by Peter May

I teased a little bit of the review of these three books in my last post so it was only fair that I should attempt to properly write about them. I'm pretty sure these were re-released as they were published in 1999 & 2000. Something which I thought was pretty cool is that in The Firemaker*  the author has written an introduction in which he shares his first trip to China, how he became fascinated with the country as well as how he researched for the stories and the real people who inspired the characters. I just thought it was an interesting insight into the series before I started the books.

I was sent the first three books in the series from Hachette NZ, The Firemaker, The Fourth Sacrifice* & The Killing Room*. There are also three other books in the series and they're on my to-read list, I'm interested in how the story of Li & Margaret develops.

The first book, The Firemaker, sets up the premise of the series. We're introduced to the two main characters, Li Yan is a Beijing detective & Margaret Campbell is an American pathologist. To escape her past Margaret takes up a teaching position at a Beijing University and ends up helping Li's investigation. Their relationship started out rocky but over the short period together they grow closer. Their relationship throughout the books is intense, they either hate each other or love each other. Most of the time it's both.

So each of the books covers a different investigation which so far manages to put them both in danger. While at times they're not too happy about working together they make a good team, making up for each other's weaknesses. Something I found interesting when reading the books was while they are crime stories that aspect sort of took a back seat and was more about Li & Margaret's relationship. It was explored through the cases they did and how they had to work together.

The crimes themselves are really interesting as well as clever, usually it's not until the end where you kind of get an idea of who is behind it all. Something else I found interesting with the cases is the link to people in powerful positions. I don't want to spoil it too much so I might just leave it there.

Like I said I really enjoyed the books and am interested in seeing how Li & Margaret's relationship plays out. I rated the first two 3.5 stars & the last 4 stars.

Have you read any of the China Thriller series?

Ashley xx
*Review copies 

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