The Skull Mantra (Inspector Shan Tao Yun) [Eliot Pattison] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. When a headless corpse turns up on a Tibetan. Reviews. Thomas Gaughan for Booklist; Kirkus Reviews; Publisher’s Weekly; Barbara Conaty for the Library Journal. Cover for Skull Mantra – US Edition. “The Skull Mantra does for Tibet what Martin Cruz Smith’s Gorky Park did for Russia. “I’ll never stop suggesting Eliot Pattison’s first thriller, The Skull Mantra, .

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This is an unusual setting for a detective novel yet the author fills it with detailed and knowledgeable information of the land, the people, and the religion. A murder of the local Chinese prosecutor by beheading leads the county bureaucrat, Colonel Tan, to engage Shan to find a suitable guilty party.

A Chinese official is murdered in a slave camp in Tibet. Martin’s Paperbacks first published While the author seemed to be quite knowledgeable of the religion, I assume the majority of North American readers are not.

THE SKULL MANTRA by Eliot Pattison | Kirkus Reviews

Shan is intuitive as well as a keen observer. Together they formed something rather amorphous. Pattison entered China for the first time within weeks of normalization of relations with the United States in and during his many return visits to China and neighboring countries developed the intense interest in the rich history and culture of the region that is reflected in these books. In this book, we meet Shan Tao Yun for the the first time.

Inspector Shan is a sympathetic character, a former Beijing Fraud Inspector consigned to a Tibetan work camp for being just a little too efficient. How soon do I pick up another of his books? I knew it was good from the get go, not simple, not easy, but a very well built story, full of details, making it difficult for you but still grabbing your attention every step of the way.

This book is the reason I don’t give up on books, you just never know when As the story opens, we learn that Shan is now a prisoner in a Chinese gulag situated in Tibet.


The Skull Mantra (Shan Tao Yun Mystery, book 1) by Eliot Pattison

It’s pattkson very cunning way to keep you sharp while you read, and also to state the difference between the Chinese and the Tibetan – it’s very hard to keep track and if you don’t pay attention you will easily mix up Chan with Shan and Tan and Li with Hu Li with Wen with Feng.

I also found the characterisations a little limp – if you were Chinese you were a variation on chain-smoking kantra baddy, if you were a Tibetan you were a variation on inscrutable mystic. And the skuol mystery is fascinating. As Shan uncovers many details and grows to appreciate the strength of the Tibetan monks, he also realizes he’s been changed by his exposure to the monks and their practice of Buddhism.

View all 3 comments. A person is shot in the head and there is an underlying threat of violence throughout.

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My Thoughts If anything, this book is incredibly detailed. Shan is a great character, smart, careful and brave as he’s not willing to skul sweep things under the rug as he’s pressured to do from several sides.

The skull mantra

Shan is on the point of death and despair after months of torture when he is finally literally thrown into the mud of the gulag, and saved by the love and care of the monks and lamas. Nov 02, Eager Reader rated it it was amazing.

This page was last edited on 26 Decemberat In the late ‘s he decided to combine his deep concerns for the people of Tibet with his interest in venturing into I have read every single book- in this series.

This book took me weeks to read! I have read every single book- in this series. He must get to Lokesh before… He must save the lamas because… And so on. Lists with This Book. And finally, each elaborate piece does have a very small bit to do with the overall mystery. Now time is running out for Shan to find the real killer Trivia About The Skull Mantra In any totalitarian regime, anomie is common because individuals are required to report on others or be punished themselves, leading to a dearth of trust.


Both protagonists are always looking for the truth when only politically acceptable answers will do, and both get into a great deal of pain and trouble as a result. A little too much soap-boxing, by everyone but the monks, and even then Yeshe Some of the foreign terms are defined, particularly the instruments pertaining to temple worship, but a lot of them are just left–and the context doesn’t tell you what the word means.

If you are looking for a straightforward mystery, you will not like this book. At times, the detail became overwhelming.


Pattison really lets the reader see and feel the places he is describing. Mar 20, Emelia rated it it was amazing. Found by a Tibetan prison work gang on a windy cliff, the grisly remains clearly belong to someone too important for Chinese authorities to bury and forget. Anomie, another early 20th century social concept, is used to describe the breakdown in social structures and relationships which leads to people living in an anomic state, largely unconnected either to society or to extended families.

We have the crusading knight out to discover the truth – no matter what the cost. A former resident of Boston and Washington, Pattison resides on an 18th century farm in Pennsylvania with his wife, three children, and an ever-expanding menagerie of animals.