Thief of Souls: An Inspector Lu Fei Mystery, by Brian Klingborg

traveling_in_books's review

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dark medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No


dgrachel's review

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dark mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


From the ratings and reviews I’ve seen, I’m clearly an outlier. I read a lot of procedurals set all over the globe, and this one missed the mark for me. The pacing was uneven with brief moments of activity followed by interminable pages of drudgery, to suddenly race to a cinematic conclusion in the last chapter. The first half of the novel read like more of a lecture on how the judicial system works (or doesn’t) in China. Own voices novels don’t typically have these explanations and I felt they both slowed and dumbed down the narrative. I figured out the identity of the killer well before the lead detective, so the big reveal was a bit of a let down. It wasn’t a bad novel. It just didn’t have anything that makes it stand out as one that I would recommend to friends or family. It’s likely one that I will forget about completely by the end of the week. 

Thank you, though, to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.