The Skull Mantra (Inspector Shan Tao Yun) [Eliot Pattison] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. When a headless corpse turns up on a Tibetan. Reviews. Thomas Gaughan for Booklist; Kirkus Reviews; Publisher’s Weekly; Barbara Conaty for the Library Journal. Cover for Skull Mantra – US Edition. “The Skull Mantra does for Tibet what Martin Cruz Smith’s Gorky Park did for Russia. “I’ll never stop suggesting Eliot Pattison’s first thriller, The Skull Mantra, .

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I do not mean that as an insult or a criticism. I did, however, feel like the main plot was being unfairly obfuscated throughout with tangents, red herrings, obscure history, and the like. Pattison has written two series of mystery novels, set in different time periods and geographic areas. The author had an pattisoh amount to tell, but I found that the context loomed so large that it overt Crime novel set in Tibet.

Shan agrees only because a monks patttison accused of the murder, which Shan knows to be impossible.

Sep 21, Carl rated it liked it. However, more intriguing to me is its cultural and political description and commentary, occurring in Tibet and portraying the tensions between the Chinese rulers and the Tibetan people.

Eliot Pattison

This page was last edited on 26 Decemberat Eloit is there serving a sentence for displeasing the powers that be in Beijing while he was doing his job — investigating a murder. That confusion sometimes hampered my understanding of the story. The warden of the th, sensing that the murder of the Chinese official is more elaborate and may implicate the warden, makes Shan start elior own investigation.

He adopted their religion that helps him not only survive the horrors of prison-life, but has given him friends in unlikely places. Shan quickly learns that the particular angle that he should concentrate on would likely involve corruption at some higher level. Most of the book, I felt at least two steps behind Shan. I’m being generous in giving this 3 stars.


Quotes from The Skull Mantra. Found by a Tibetan prison work gang on a windy cliff, the grisly remains clearly belong to someone too important for Chinese authorities to bury and forget. A couple of months ago I had a cold and was searching the shelves for something that would take my mind off the discomfort, something fast moving and entertaining. Usually, books take me a few days, maybe two weeks.

THE SKULL MANTRA by Eliot Pattison | Kirkus Reviews

A Great First Effort – 3. After 4 years with the monks, learning from them as they continue to teach and practice their religion, Shan himself is more Tibetan than Chinese.

Which is a good thing when it comes to recommending it to people looking for new crime novels, I think, because that way there is enough skupl in the book to make the reading experience more comfortable to people who would be put off by too much foreignness.

Feb 13, Joyce Lagow rated it really liked it Shelves: The setup of a prisoner investigating a crime and torn by two competing cultures pattisson for an original and entertaining read.

This stuff is always a matter of taste. Each book involves one or more murders which set up a “who-done-it” mystery that the stoical Inspector Shan has to resolve.

What struck me about this was the ‘world building’.

The skull mantra (Book, ) []

Martin’s Minotaur “. The name field is required. I don’t want to take notes when reading a mystery. Shan is a great character, smart, careful and brave as he’s not willing to just sweep things under the rug as he’s pressured to do from several sides. Pattison gives an especially powerful and sympathetic–one could call it empathetic–view of Tibetan Buddhism, the role it plays in the lives of ordinary Tibetans, and the courage of the Tibetan monks to continue to uphold their values in the face of daily persecution and degradation.


Pattison does this while not breaking the plot. The protagonist, Shan, is a Chinese man on a largely Tibetan work gang in the gulag, sentenced to an indefinite number of years on trumped up charges when his inv This mystery is intriguing and well written.

When a headless body is discovered during one of the work details of the prisoners at the th, Shan is taken aside by a state official and given temporary freedom to run an investigation into this murder. Please provide an email address. A deeply spiritual novel in a world that seeks to rip the poison of religion away from masses, I want to read the sequel.

In any totalitarian regime, anomie is common because individuals are required to report on others or be punished themselves, leading to a dearth of trust.

It has such a unique and creative setting and conceit, a Soull Detective who was a good party member but a bit too honest, is sent to the Gulag in Tibet, and is transformed by the Tibetan Buddhist priest he is imprisoned with.

Shan is intuitive as well as a keen observer. Some features of WorldCat will not be available. Books by Eliot Epiot. In this first of the series, a former criminal investigator from Beijing, Shan, is residing as a political prisoner in a work camp in Tibet along with near Buddhist monks and local dissidents.