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Lewis, Simon - 'Bad Traffic'
Paperback: 400 pages (Jan. 2008) Publisher: Sort of Books ISBN: 0954899555

This very exciting, densely plotted new book is written by a very unusual author, who speaks Mandarin Chinese and has travelled extensively in China and Asia working as a travel writer and researching the Rough Guide To China. BAD TRAFFIC is his second crime fiction book and it features a cynical tough hero named Jian. Jian is an inspector in the Chinese State Police, who has travelled to Leeds, Yorkshire in a private capacity to trace his daughter. She has disappeared from the university course on which she was studying English and in her last phone call home to him, she'd pleaded for his help.

Unfortunately, the day Jian arrives he is mugged, losing his wallet with all his currency and being unable to speak English has great difficulty in getting help. There aren't a lot of speakers of Mandarin Chinese around! Fortunately, he meets the Chinese owners of a fish and chip shop who help him out. The book is a real insight into how foreigners view the British way of life. Jian is often fond of quoting from Chairman Mao's Little Red Book to cover his astonishment with how things are done in the West compared with China!

Soon Jian befriends another Chinese person named Ding Ming, who has entered the North of England as an illegal immigrant in a convoy but has become separated from his wife, another illegal. Ding Ming, luckily speaks English and together they hunt the people who mugged Jian, who were part of a gang smuggling illegal immigrants in and operating as gang-masters exploiting the Chinese illegals for vast sums of money.

Soon Jian and Ding Ming have to steal money and vehicles to survive in their hunt and they become hunted themselves in this very suspenseful, highly professional and well turned out piece of work as it comes to an agonising conclusion.

I found this book hugely entertaining and a real page turner and I look forward to reading the next books of this deeply, atmospheric thriller writer.

Read more reviews of BAD TRAFFIC, here and here.

Terry Halligan, England
October 2008

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 5/07/2012 20:22