Pingkang li during the Tang Dynasty of 848 AD.
An important general has been murdered, General Deng Zhi. The a Emperor wants answers.
Courtesan Mingyu (Bright Jade) finds the body. With blood on her hands she goes to Wu Keifang, the policeman who was her nemesis, her torturer in a previous murder. Why? What is it that draws Mingyu back to him?
Now Wu Keifang has to battle an important official, Inspector Xi Lun, who seems bent on destroying his master Magistrate Li, find the murderer and resolve the puzzle of himself and Mingyu. They shared a kiss but 'they both knew nothing more could become of it.' Does the kiss represent honesty between two people who are faced with dishonesty every day, or is Wu for Mingyu a man who truly sees her as she is, not what he wants her to be?
During the investigation where Mingyu is accused of Deng's murder, she is forced to contemplate the nature of the place she works, a place of so called harmony. Now she recognizes that that harmony is not the peace she previously thought but that of silence. A place where all feelings are buried deep, silenced and subjugated to tranquility, gaiety and beauty--the facade of the Pleasure House. Wu becomes that place for Mingyu where true feelings can be, can exist, a place of safety and honesty.
Mingyu's sister Yue-Ying and her husband Bai Huan support Mingyu and help Wu in his search for the truth.
Skilfully written, the various lines of Lin's textured brush strokes hold your interest in the emerging picture, the figures occupying the landscape suspended in tension right until the very end.
A NetGalley ARC