About Me

My photo
All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Friday, February 28, 2014

Trapped in a jaded cage.

The Jade Temptress - The Lotus Palace #2 by Jeannie Lin

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?                                                                     

Once more, 'The Pingkang li, with its dual persona of sensual decadence and refinement becomes the place Lin explores the roles that women took on in society, investigates a murder and explores the nature of love. Front and centre is infamous Lotus Palace, home of the celebrated courtesans of the Pingkang li entertainment area and the backdrop to crime and treachery, fear and revenge, and the political intrigue surrounding the courts of the Emperor.
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

No comments:

Post a Comment