The China Thrillers Books

The China Thrillers is a series of detective fiction novels written by Peter May. The books follow the exploits of an American forensic expert who partners with a Chinese police officer to solve crimes.

Order of The China Thrillers Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Firemaker 1999 Description / Buy
2 The Fourth Sacrifice 2000 Description / Buy
3 The Killing Room 2000 Description / Buy
4 Snakehead 2002 Description / Buy
5 The Runner 2003 Description / Buy
6 Chinese Whispers 2004 Description / Buy
7 The Ghost Marriage (Short Story) 2010 Description / Buy
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When readers first meet Margaret Campbell in The Firemaker, the first novel in the series, she is fleeing from a life of trouble and heartache in the United States.

Margaret was invited by the Chinese Government to educate the students of the Beijing Police University in the ways of Forensic Pathology. And Margaret was happy to accept the invitation because it meant escaping her personal trials in Chicago.

However, life in Beijing was anything but relaxing. First, Margaret encountered and unintentionally embarrassed Li Yan, a Chinese detective that was only recently promoted to the position of Deputy Section Chief.

Li Yan did not hesitate to give Margaret the dressing down of a lifetime in the sort of perfect English Margaret did not expect to encounter.

And just when both parties were ready to put their brief conflict and the bad emotions it created behind them by moving on with their lives, certain that they would never lay eyes on one another ever again, Li Yan was handed his first case and then instructed to seek out the assistance of the Beijing Police University’s latest asset.

The notion of working with a man she so thoroughly disliked did not appeal to Margaret in the least. But then she quickly realized that she couldn’t afford to turn her host’s request for assistance down.

And so began a long and awkwardly contentious relationship between two intelligent minds that had no business working within one another’s spheres.

The China Thrillers series tells Margaret and Li Yan’s story. The books that Peter May writes are a mixture of mystery, suspense, and romance. Margaret and Lin Yan are disparate souls.

As an American pathologist, Margaret experiences quite the culture shock when she first comes to China. And she initially embraces the distraction it brings into her life. But even though her initial encounter with Li Yan leaves a sour taste in her mouths, she eventually develops strong feelings for the Chinese Detective.

Li Yan, for his part, is forced to rethink his opinion of the American when Margaret’s insight proves critical to the resolution of his case. Over the course of the novels, he also develops strong feelings for her. But obstacles arise to keep them apart.

Peter May, the author, did extensive research on law enforcement in China to write these novels and it shows.

The China Thrillers Awards

Chinese Whispers and Snakehead were shortlisted at the Salon Polar and Co, Cognac (Prix International). Snakehead actually won in 2007 (Prix Intramuros).

The Firemaker was also an Elle Magazine, Grand Prix de Litterature’ runnerup in 2006.
This is on top of Peter May becoming the first and only Western author to join the Chinese Crime Writer’s Association because of his work on the China Thrillers series.

Best The China Thrillers Books

These novels have been praised for accurately depicting detective work in China, with some of the best titles in the series including:

The Runner: A top Chinese swimmer and an Olympic weightlifter are both dead. The swimmer supposedly took his life. The weightlifter died in the arms of a mistress.

Both men were actually murdered, and they were hardly the only ones. The best athletes in the country have been dropping like flies and now Li Yan and Margaret Campbell are back to unravel the web of lies surrounded their seemingly accidental deaths.

Chinese Whispers: A killer called the Beijing Ripper is on the loose. He viciously mutilates and then kills his young and beautiful victims. Now it is up to Li Yan to find him. When the media, the public, and Li’s bosses begin hounding him for answers, he turns to Margaret Campbell for help.

Other Book Series You May Like

You may also like the “Dark Yorkshire” series by J.M. Dalgliesh. DI Nathaniel Caslin is an unstable fellow, a man who does the minimum at work and abuses drugs and alcohol on a regular basis. The detective is also the only person standing between Yorkshire and violent murder.

Another nice read is the “Kurt Wallander” series by Henning Mankell. Kurt Wallander is a Ystad Police Inspector with an ex-wife and an estranged daughter. When he isn’t too busy fighting to keep his life together, Kurt solves crimes, mysteries, and murders in Sweden.

What Is The Next Book in The China Thrillers Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The China Thrillers Series. The newest book is The Ghost Marriage and was released on January, 1st 2010.

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