Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Ghost Month by Ed Lin

Ghost Month
by Ed Lin
narrated by Feodor Chin

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2014
Publisher: Soho Crime
Genre: Mystery, China
Hardback: 336
Rating: 4

A Taipei Night Market series:
Ghost Month
99 Ways to Die

First sentence(s):
When I found out the girl I was going to marry had been murdered, I was sitting on a foldout stool at a sidewalk noodle shop in Taipei's Da'an District.

August is Ghost Month in Taiwan-a time to commemorate the dead: burn incense, visit shrines, commemorate ancestors, and avoid unlucky situations, large purchases, and bodies of water. Jing-nan, a young man who runs a food stand in a bustling Taipei night market, doesn't consider himself superstitious, but this August is going to haunt him no matter what he does. He is shocked to the core when he learns his ex-girlfriend from high school has been murdered. She was found scantily clad and shot in the chest on the side of a highway where she was selling betel nuts to passing truck drivers.

Beyond his harrowing grief for this lost love of his life, Jing-nan is also confused by the news: "betel nut beauties" are usually women in the most desperate of circumstances; the job is almost as taboo as prostitution. But Julia Huang had been the valedictorian of their high school, and the last time Jing-nan spoke to her she was enrolled in NYU's honor program, far away in New York. The facts don't add up. Julia's parents don't think so, either, and the police seem to have closed the case without asking any questions. The Huangs beg Jing-nan if he can do some investigating on his own-reconnect with old classmates, see if he can learn anything about Julia's life that she might have kept from them. Reluctantly, he agrees, for Julia's sake; but nothing can prepare him for what he learns, or how it will change his life.

My two-bits:

Really liked the descriptions and perspectives of the night market. Also, interesting to learn about ghost month which was woven into the story well.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of Books, Inc. Foreign Intrigue Book Club (here)

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