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The Devil of Nanking [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Mo Hayder , Josephine Bailey , Simon Vance
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 1 2005
With the redolent atmosphere of Ian Rankin and the spine-chilling characters of Thomas Harris, Mo Hayder's The Devil of Nanking, takes the reader on an electrifying literary ride from the palatial apartments of yakuza kingpins to deep inside the secret history of one of the twentieth century's most brutal events: the Nanking Massacre.

A young Englishwoman obsessed with an indecipherable past, Grey comes to Tokyo seeking a lost piece of film footage of the notorious 1937 Nanking Massacre, footage some say never existed. Only one man can help Grey. A survivor of the massacre, he is now a visiting professor at a university in Tokyo. But he will have nothing to do with her. So Grey accepts a job in an upmarket nightspot, where a certain gangster may be the key to gaining the professor's trust. An old man in a wheelchair surrounded by a terrifying entourage, the gangster is rumored to rely on a mysterious elixir for his continued health.

Taut, gritty, sexy, and harrowing, The Devil of Nanking is an incomparable literary thriller set in one of the world's most fascinating cities—Tokyo—from an internationally best-selling author.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

From its start in 1937, as the Japanese overrun the Chinese port of Nanking and massacre hundreds of thousands, to its narrative core in 1990, as a disturbed young British woman who calls herself Grey searches for the hidden truths that made her the mentally fragile person she is, Hayder's third book (after 2002's The Treatment) is a thriller of rare art and gripping excitement. Hayder, one of the rising stars of British crime fiction, teaches at a university in Bath and has worked as a hostess in a Tokyo nightclub. Both experiences add to her book's unusually rich atmosphere. Grey, who lives on the fringes of the academic world, tries to find out in Tokyo whether a piece of 16mm film taken during the Nanking atrocities actually exists--and whether it will ease her pain. When an elderly Chinese professor, a survivor of Nanking, at first refuses to help her, she drifts into a well-paying job as a night club hostess. (Russian twin sisters Irina and Svetlana teach her the tricks of the trade. "You gotta look sophisticated," Svetlana tells her earnestly. "You wanna wear my belt, eh? My belt is gold. Black and gold nice!") Eventually, the story becomes a beautifully paced, three-way duel among an aged Japanese gangster who wants to live forever; the Chinese professor, with secrets too horrible to hide any longer; and Grey, a courageous young woman unlike any other heroine you're likely to find in a thriller.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Seeking confirmation of an atrocity committed by Japanese soldiers during the 1937 invasion of Nanking, troubled young Englishwoman Grey Hutchins tracks down a Chinese survivor who might have film of the massacre. But when she finds Shi Chongming teaching at a Tokyo university, he offers no help--until Grey takes a job at a hostess club frequented by an old Yakuza don. Chongming, it turns out, needs access to the strange medicine the mobster takes to stave off death. If Grey can deliver the information he needs, Chongming promises, he will show her his secret film. Although the narrative--split between the professor's haunting 1937 diary and Grey's contemporary Tokyo journal--takes a while to pick up steam, it ends up delivering a potent punch. Hayder fancies she is withholding more plot twists than she actually does, but Grey and Chongming's affecting stories of weakness and loss redeemed by their obsessive quests for truth and justice make up for a twinned mystery that's not too difficult to dope out. Frank Sennett
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and intriguing July 2 2007
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A young Englishwoman name Grey while in Tokyo tries to find out whether a piece of 16mm film taken during the 1937 Nanking atrocities actually exits. Increasingly desperate, she accepts a job in a night club as a hostess that caters to Japanese businessmen. While there she acquires information from a patron who may be the key to gaining the trust of the only man that can help her: he is an elderly professor, and a survivor of the massacre. The story quickly becomes a three-way dual... and Grey is about to unearth the horror that links the present with the past.

The author alternates between the present-day narrative and excerpts from the professor's journal written at the time of the massacre. I found it difficult to adjust to this style at first. The story is a very disturbing and intriguing one; it peaks ones interest into China's dark past. This novel is definitely worth taking the time to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I could NOT put this book down June 21 2005
As thrillers go this book ranks right up there with the best of them! Mo Hayer does a fantastic job of incorporating actual historic events with authentic locations in Japan, and tying them all together with a story line that just keep giving and giving until the final chapter.
The book focuses on the main protagonist, Grey, and her research in to the atrocities that Japan inflicted on China in 1937. The story, which starts out with a historical tone, quickly changes gears and lets the reader embrace the history and culture of modern day Japan, while somehow always managing to bring the reader back to those historic times in 1937.
Although I would like to say more about this novel, I really don't want to give too much away. The plot is just that good. Pick this book up. You will NOT be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I could not put this book down! Feb. 15 2006
Mo Hayder is an excellent writer. Her ability in writing to keep you captivated with images and a variety of emotions is remarkable. The reader is given a sample to let the imagination go and at the same time be haunted by being aware of what occured. The Devil of Nanking was the first book of Hayder's that I read. It was recommended by a guest on the Nation's broadcasting company to read over the holidays. I look forward to reading her first two.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mo Hayder is a dark magician April 1 2005
I have read Hayder's other books with painful pleasure, but this newest release takes her writing to a completely different level. It is a dark tale of the walking wounded, obsession, and culture. Her characters are marvelously complex, and her writing is dark yet crystalline. Mo Hayder deserves to be among the best of our fiction writers. A chilling masterpiece.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Words cannot describe..... Oct. 29 2005
By A Customer
It's very rare that I read a book which stirs up emotions such as anger, sadness, contempt, and curiosity, all at once. Through this novel, Mo Hayder has engrained the brilliance of her writing permanently in a reader's mind - a brilliance which makes you shake your head in awe, shudder to the bone, and fear for the true nature of human beings.
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