the fourth sacrifice
The Firemaker introduced a memorable
detective team: Li Yan, a senior detective with the Beijing Municipal
Police, and Margaret Campbell, a forensic pathologist from Chicago.
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Now their paths cross again, as Margaret's unique skills are
required once more to investigate a series of ritual executions
The first three victims were drugged, tied, labelled with a single
word and a single number - then expertly beheaded. The fourth
victim was dispatched in just the same way, but unlike the others
he was an American diplomat. No one knows why Yuan Tao treturned
to Beijing after a lifetime in America, why he took a lowly job
at the American embassy, why he rented a simple flat in a poor
neighbourhood - or why he died the same bizarre way as three
very different Chinese men.
Compelled to work with one another, Margaret Campbell and Li
Yan again feel the overwhelming attraction that nearly destroyed
them both when they first met. But now Margaret has another admirer
- a brilliant, charismatic American TV archaeologist. And Li
has a family tragedy that demands all his heart.
Reluctantly, slowly, they tease out the killer's secrets. But
the closer they come to the truth behind the executions, the
more dangerously close they come to a killer who is prepared
to sacrifice anyone to conceal it.