The Devil of Nanking
By Mo Hayder
(Penguin Books, Mass Market Paperback, 9780143036999, 480pp.)
Publication Date: May 30, 2006
Like the thrillers of Thomas Harris and Philip Kerr, Mo Hayder's riveting new novel animates the dark corners of modern history. The solitary Englishwoman Grey comes to Japan looking for a rare piece of footage that is said to document a particularly monstrous episode of the 1937 Nanking Massacre. Her quest will take her to a reclusive scholar and a wheelchair-bound gangster who clings to life with the aid of a mysterious elixir, and to a handsome American whose interest in Grey may be more sinister than romantic. The result is a work of spine-chilling suspense, masterful historical detail, and otherworldly beauty.
Mo Hayder has worked as a barmaid, security guard, filmmaker, hostess in a Tokyo nightclub, and teacher of English as a foreign language. She is the author of The Birdman and The Treatment.
"Dazzling... extremely creepy book... the diabolically gifted British author spins a fascinating mystery from the legacy of Japanese atrocities during World War II (A)." — Entertainment Weekly
"A haunting, lyrical, disturbing, important, suspenseful, wonderfully written and beautiful book." — Harlan Coben
"The Devil of Nanking is such a perfectly sinister novel that doubt creeps in as one reads it. Can Mo Hayder pull it off? [She] creates such a threatening environment that when the novel gains its strength, every page evokes a shudder. And yes, she pulls it off. The Devil of Nanking ends as it begins - which is to say it's a thoroughly satisfying thriller." — New York Daily News
"The Devil of Nanking is the kind of novel that invites excessive praise. It is beautifully written and often fascinating, and it has a powerful historical hook." — Washington Post
"There are some novels that infect the brain and never let go... Hayder writes of past and present horrors with beautifully understated prose, made more so by Grey's innocence in the face of mounting evil. The Devil of Nanking is brilliant, haunting and scary as hell - a book not soon forgotten." — Baltimore Sun