cover image Bones of the Earth

Bones of the Earth

Eliot Pattison. Minotaur, $27.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-16968-6

Edgar winner Pattison incorporates the political realities of Tibetan life under Chinese occupation into a page-turning whodunit in his 10th Shan Tao Yun mystery (after 2017’s Skeleton God). Shan was once a respected inspector in Beijing, until he investigated “the wrong people” and was exiled to a Tibetan prison. After he provided unofficial help to the area’s governor, Colonel Tan, he was released and given constabulary duties. Needing Shan’s help again, Tan promotes him to special inspector to facilitate his inquiry into the Five Claws Dam, the biggest construction project the Chinese government has ever made in the region. Meanwhile, Shan is forced to witness the execution of Metok Rentzig, an engineer assigned to the project, who was charged with corruption. Shan finds evidence that Metok was framed and judicially murdered, perhaps to cover up others’ culpability in the deaths of two archeologists who were attempting to protect Tibetan antiquities from destruction at the dam site. Pattison has never been better in depicting a brave man’s dangerous pursuit of justice in a “land of broken places and broken people.” Agent: Natasha Kern, Natasha Kern Literary. (Mar.)