“A thriller of rare art and gripping excitement . . . [Hayder’s] experiences add to her book’s unusually rich atmosphere. . . . Eventually, the story becomes a beautifully paced, three-way duel among an aged Japanese gangster who wants to live forever; the Chinese professor, with secrets too horrible to hide any longer; and Grey, a courageous young woman unlike any other heroine you’re likely to find in a thriller.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The Devil of Nanking
978-0-8021-2219-3 • $14.00 • Paperback • Jan. 2014
Taut, gritty, sexy, and harrowing, The Devil of Nanking is an incomparable literary thriller set in one of the world’s most fascinating citiesTokyofrom an internationally best-selling author.
“This book is deeply felt and haunting. It is elegiac and important. Most of all, it sticks with you well after the last page is turned.” Michael Connelly
“The Devil of Nanking left me stunned and haunted. This is writing of breathtaking power and poetry. I stand in awe of Mo Hayder’s incompar-able gifts as a storyteller.” Tess Gerritsen
“[Hayder's writing] is crisp and tart . . . her book gripped the mind even as it quickened the pulse.” Richard Bernstein, The New York Times
Internationally best-selling author Mo Hayder’s two previous novels have won her a reputation for harrowing, haunting, and pitch-perfect thriller writing. Taut, gritty, and sexy, her new novel, The Devil of Nankingalready a finalist for Britain’s Dagger Awardtakes the reader on an electrifying literary ride from the decadent hostess bars and palatial apartments of yakuza kingpins in Tokyo, to deep inside the secret history of one of the twentieth century’s deadliest, most shameful eventsthe Nanking massacre.
Grey has a lot to prove and even more to hide. A young Englishwoman obsessed with a past she cannot understand, she comes to Tokyo seeking a rare piece of film footage that has been lost for decades, showing a specific horrifying incident during the notorious 1937 Nanking Massacre. Some say the film never existed. Only one man can help Grey. A survivor of the massacre, he is now a visiting professor at the university of Todai in Tokyo. Immersed in his textbooks and wary of strangers, he will at first have nothing to do with her.
When Grey accepts a job as a hostess in an upscale nightclub catering to Japanese businessmen and wealthy yakuza, she meets a certain gangster who may be the key to her questan old man in a wheelchair surrounded by a terrifying entourage, rumored to rely on a mysterious elixir for his continued health. As the professor pressures Grey to find out more about the elixir, Grey’s housemate, a handsome, laconic American dilettante, becomes unnervingly fascinated with her and the troubling past that she has kept concealed from everyone else. Grey is faced with the serious dangers of charming her way into a circle of gangsters, master manipulators, and possible murderers. It’s a devil’s bargainbut who, really, is the Devil of Nanking?
With the redolent atmosphere of an Ian Rankin and the spine-chilling characters of a Thomas Harris, The Devil of Nanking is a tour de force that confirms Mo Hayder as one of the literary thriller’s most accomplished, terrifying, and thoroughly entertaining rising stars.