This is the second novel about Inspector Lu Fei, who works in a small town outside of Harbin, China. The charm of the first novel, Thief of Souls, were the inner workings of a small town Chinese police department and the lives of the officers, including and especially Lu Fei, who is an incredibly appealing character. In Wild Prey Lu Fei remains appealing, but the topic Klingborg has chosen to spotlight is far more difficult. The first novel was a serial killer story; this one focuses on the illegal (and immoral) killing of rare animals for food.
Brian Klingborg’s new series features Inspector Lu Fei, and is set in northern China. Lu is a great new character and Klingborg’s book is a fast paced, intelligent police procedural with an interesting setting. It’s a terrific start to a new series. You can read my review of Thief of Souls here.
Q: First of all, I kept flipping to your author info as I couldn’t believe you weren’t Chinese. How do you come by your extensive knowledge of China?
A: I majored in East Asian Studies as an undergraduate, spent a year abroad in Taiwan, then attended grad school where I studied cultural anthropology with a China focus. After school I returned to Taiwan where I lived and worked for several more years. Since then, I have continued my sporadic exploration of Chinese culture, history and language. And in the process of writing Thief of Souls, I did lots and lots of additional research.