John Gapper’s first novel is a riveting express paced book taking us into the world of modern day China.
Song Mei is a young woman who has been taken into the government Commission for Discipline Inspection and been in training to probe political corruption. She is considered a member with a bright future. Out of the blue she is taken to the scene of a police investigation of the death of a young woman and is jolted by the dead girl.
The woman is the exact replica of Song Mei, both in features and body form. Song immediately comes to the inescapable conclusion that the dead girl is related to her since any other explanation would not be creditable. Her superiors tell her to not attempt any investigation of the crime but Song’s every thought is to find out about her and what were the factors causing her death.
The novel takes us into the higher echelons of the party, a connection with the American CIA, the finding of Song’s parents and identifying the dead girl. Action involves a trip to the United States, the investigation of a Chinese manufacturer of electronic control boards and the discovery of an international conspiracy to spy on key figures in both the US and China.
Gapper has created a fascinating young lady about whom another book should be written following her adventures and providing more sleepless nights for his readers. A very well done book by a very promising author.
1/15 Paul Lane
THE GHOST SHIFT by John Gapper. Ballantine Books (January 20, 2015). ISBN: 978-0345527929. 320p.