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Wild Prey

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"[A] taut thriller on a topical theme perfect for readers longing for an au courant successor to Eliot Pattison’s Inspector Shan Tao Yun mysteries" --Los Angeles Times The search for a missing girl sends Inspector Lu Fei undercover into the wild corners of Myanmar, and the compound of the deadly and mysterious woman warlord responsible for the illegal trafficking of exotic "[A] taut thriller on a topical theme perfect for readers longing for an au courant successor to Eliot Pattison’s Inspector Shan Tao Yun mysteries" --Los Angeles Times The search for a missing girl sends Inspector Lu Fei undercover into the wild corners of Myanmar, and the compound of the deadly and mysterious woman warlord responsible for the illegal trafficking of exotic animals and possibly more, in the next book from Brian Klingborg, Wild Prey. Police Inspector Lu Fei has an unfortunate talent for getting himself into hot water with powerful and well-connected people. Which is why he’s been assigned to a backwater town in a rural area of Northern China and quietly warned to keep his head down. But while running a sting operation on the sale and consumption of rare and endangered animals, Lu comes across the curious case of a waitress who has gone missing. Her last known whereabouts: a restaurant frequented by local elites, owned by smooth-talking gangster, and known for its exotic -- and highly illegal -- delicacies. As usual, Lu's investigation ruffles some feathers, resulting in his suspension from the police force. Lu figures he's reached a dead-end. Then he's contacted by a mysterious government official in Beijing who wants him to go undercover to track down the mastermind behind an illegal animal trafficking network -- and hopefully, the answer to the fate of the missing waitress. The mission will require Lu to travel deep into the lawless wilds of Myanmar, where he will risk his life to infiltrate the hidden compound of a mysterious and ruthless female warlord in a bloody and nearly hopeless quest for justice.


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"[A] taut thriller on a topical theme perfect for readers longing for an au courant successor to Eliot Pattison’s Inspector Shan Tao Yun mysteries" --Los Angeles Times The search for a missing girl sends Inspector Lu Fei undercover into the wild corners of Myanmar, and the compound of the deadly and mysterious woman warlord responsible for the illegal trafficking of exotic "[A] taut thriller on a topical theme perfect for readers longing for an au courant successor to Eliot Pattison’s Inspector Shan Tao Yun mysteries" --Los Angeles Times The search for a missing girl sends Inspector Lu Fei undercover into the wild corners of Myanmar, and the compound of the deadly and mysterious woman warlord responsible for the illegal trafficking of exotic animals and possibly more, in the next book from Brian Klingborg, Wild Prey. Police Inspector Lu Fei has an unfortunate talent for getting himself into hot water with powerful and well-connected people. Which is why he’s been assigned to a backwater town in a rural area of Northern China and quietly warned to keep his head down. But while running a sting operation on the sale and consumption of rare and endangered animals, Lu comes across the curious case of a waitress who has gone missing. Her last known whereabouts: a restaurant frequented by local elites, owned by smooth-talking gangster, and known for its exotic -- and highly illegal -- delicacies. As usual, Lu's investigation ruffles some feathers, resulting in his suspension from the police force. Lu figures he's reached a dead-end. Then he's contacted by a mysterious government official in Beijing who wants him to go undercover to track down the mastermind behind an illegal animal trafficking network -- and hopefully, the answer to the fate of the missing waitress. The mission will require Lu to travel deep into the lawless wilds of Myanmar, where he will risk his life to infiltrate the hidden compound of a mysterious and ruthless female warlord in a bloody and nearly hopeless quest for justice.

30 review for Wild Prey

  1. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    An easy 4 stars for an engaging mystery set in northern rural China, near Harbin. This is book 2 in the Lu Fei series and I read book 1. I recommend that you read them in order. Inspector Lu Fei of the PSB(Public Security Bureau) agrees to look for a missing teenager, Meixiang, after her sister, Meirong, begs him to do so. When he investigates, he ruffles some important people. They lean on his boss, who orders him to stop investigating. But he persists, and is suspended as a result. Then he get An easy 4 stars for an engaging mystery set in northern rural China, near Harbin. This is book 2 in the Lu Fei series and I read book 1. I recommend that you read them in order. Inspector Lu Fei of the PSB(Public Security Bureau) agrees to look for a missing teenager, Meixiang, after her sister, Meirong, begs him to do so. When he investigates, he ruffles some important people. They lean on his boss, who orders him to stop investigating. But he persists, and is suspended as a result. Then he gets a mysterious phone call. He agrees to meet this mystery man. The meeting is actually a video meeting and the mystery man says that he works for the National Forestry and Grassland Administration. He tells Lu to call him Jia and says that they have a mutual interest, Wilson Fang. Lu believes Fang may have killed Meixiang or knows who did. Jia says that Fang is involved in the illegal trade of endangered species and he wants to arrest him and his superiors. He persuades Lu to go undercover on his behalf. There many twists and turns in this mystery, but I liked the ending. I read this book in 2 days. It is a fast,easy read. One quote: Dinner at an illegal wildlife farm: "Dinner consists of the ubiquitous tea leaf salad, rice balls with fish and turmeric; various curries; noodles in fish broth; a range of tropical fruits. Also: crocodile carpaccio; bat boiled in a ginger and coconut soup; bamboo rat stuffed with vegetables and roasted; and a hot pot consisting of pangolin, snake, and caterpillar simmered in a base of chicken broth, soy sauce, ginger, Shaoxing wined, and spring onion." Thanks to St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for sending me this eARC through NetGalley.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    Having recently read and enjoyed 'Thief of Souls' (Inspector Lu Fei mysteries #1), I eagerly awaited the second book in the series by Brian Klingborg. The author majored in East Asian studies at Harvard with a particular interest in Chinese folklore and religion. He lived and worked in Asia for several years. The story is set in modern-day rural China, Raven Valley, with connections with the city of Harbin, 70 miles distant. Deputy Chief Lu Fei graduated from the police academy at the top of hi Having recently read and enjoyed 'Thief of Souls' (Inspector Lu Fei mysteries #1), I eagerly awaited the second book in the series by Brian Klingborg. The author majored in East Asian studies at Harvard with a particular interest in Chinese folklore and religion. He lived and worked in Asia for several years. The story is set in modern-day rural China, Raven Valley, with connections with the city of Harbin, 70 miles distant. Deputy Chief Lu Fei graduated from the police academy at the top of his class but was unjustly exiled by his corrupt boss to the cold, quiet Raven Valley. He now works alongside rural officers under the leadership of Chief Liang. There is little crime to investigate in the countryside where Lu now works. Police work might entail finding a stolen pig, rounding up stray chickens, or even responding to calls to help residents with the internet. Lu's life is about to become disrupted by a young girl, Meriong, demanding he looks for her missing sister. The girl is poorly dressed, unkempt, and looks to be 12 years old. Lu learns that she is actually 15, probably small due to poor nutrition. Her 19-year-old sister, Mexiang, disappeared while working at an upscale restaurant in Harbin. They were very close and communicated almost every day. Rich and powerful men frequented the restaurant. It catered to wealthy clients with a special secret menu serving meat from exotic and endangered animals. Consuming such rare, expensive meals is considered a status symbol and believed to have medicinal benefits. Some of the animal parts were served in spicy sauces and included tigers, pangolin, snakes, bats, bamboo rats, bears and caterpillars. The butchering and trafficking of parts of endangered animals is an alarming subject. This horrific crime is offset somewhat by Lu's sarcastic and humorous dialogue when he is not fighting for his life. Inspector Lu is becoming one of my favourite detectives. He is a moral and dedicated officer in a corrupt political and legal system. The police do not consider finding Mexiang a priority. Their reaction is that she was probably a runaway, went away with a boyfriend, or moved on to another job. The younger girl sits in the police office day after day, hoping to learn what they are doing to find her sister. She even shows up at Lu's apartment, demanding that he do more to find her. The more Lu learns about the restaurant and its clients, he fears she may have been killed there. Some of its important, powerful customers are irate that Lu is snooping around, and put pressure on his chief to have him suspended. Lu is approached by a mysterious man through a video conference. He says he is named Jia and works for the government in Beijing in the National Forestry and Grasslands branch. He says they have cases in common. He wants to protect endangered animals and to arrest Wilson Fang, the owner of the establishment serving exotic wild meat. He believes Fang murdered Mexiang or knows who did. As both their cases involve the same restaurant, he offers Lu tempting rewards and promotions for his help. Lu is only intent on finding out what happened to Mexiang. After a shooting in the restaurant, Fang vanishes. It is believed he is in hiding or may have been kidnapped. Jia suspects he may be hiding or held in a fortress in the wilds of Myanmar (formerly Burma) jungle. There is a compound run by a ruthless, mysterious female warlord and is where the illegal meat and also drugs come from and are smuggled across the border into China. Lu reluctantly accepts the assignment to go undercover, in disguise and pose as a buyer of exotic meat and find Wilson Fang. Readers often enjoy being transported to an unknown place through the pages of a book. This jungle fortress is not a place anyone would want to visit! People who incur the wrath of the warlord are regularly tortured, mutilated, thrown to feed the tigers, and the lucky ones are merely shot. Needless to say, Lu regrets accepting the assignment and his visit is far from relaxing. Powerful weapons and explosives are in abundance and Lu must find a way to get out of there alive. What happened to Mexiang? The author tells an exciting story and even finds a way to include some humour in a horrifying tale. Warning: Cruelty to animals, and to humans.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lou Jacobs

    My Review will be published on 4/22 at Mystery and Suspense Magazine WILD PREY - AN INSPECTOR LU FEI MYSTERY By Brian KLINGBORG Publication Date: 5/17/22 by St. Martin’s Press / Minotaur Books He’s back! Inspector Lu Fei …. a righteous and highly scrupled cop with dogged determination returns for an even more harrowing case, determined to wade through a morass of obstacles to uncover truth and justice. An immersive police procedural transitions into a thrilling espionage novel as Lu’s investigation My Review will be published on 4/22 at Mystery and Suspense Magazine WILD PREY - AN INSPECTOR LU FEI MYSTERY By Brian KLINGBORG Publication Date: 5/17/22 by St. Martin’s Press / Minotaur Books He’s back! Inspector Lu Fei …. a righteous and highly scrupled cop with dogged determination returns for an even more harrowing case, determined to wade through a morass of obstacles to uncover truth and justice. An immersive police procedural transitions into a thrilling espionage novel as Lu’s investigation catapults him into an undercover operation. The setting is the contemporary People’s Republic of China, in which the ethical inspector Lu Fei faces the challenge of seeking justice in a complex and corrupt society. The narrative unfolds with a healthy dose of humor, history, philosophy and an unbridled multi-layered characterization of the main protagonists. Inspector Lu Fei is a graduate of China’s top police university, yet finds himself mired in a small backwater provincial town of Raven Valley. His present demotion and exile is the result of Lu’s unfortunate confrontation with his corrupt boss of the Harbin City Police Department. The inspector executed an unscheduled raid, and found his boss engaged in the service of an underage prostitute. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with ongoing international pressure, the conservationists in the government have intensified efforts to crack down on the illegal trade of endangered animal meat and byproducts. Lu finds himself on stake out in a local market to apprehend Chen, a known and wanted peddler of black market animal products to local restaurants and apothecaries. Not only the meat, but also bones, teeth, skin, scales and genitals are greatly desirable. Exotic wildlife and their genitals are touted as aids for erectile dysfunction. Tiger and bear penises and the meat of pangolin, including their scales yield extensive profits on the black market. With over two hundred million surveillance cameras monitoring the citizens of China, it was only a matter of time before Chen was apprehended. Inspector Lu Fei is confronted in the lobby of his “paichusuo” (police station) by a young girl sitting on a bench …. fifteen year old Tan Meirong pleads for his help. Her sister, nineteen year old, Tan Meixiang is missing and she fears the worst. “She’s dead or has been kidnapped and sold to a brothel.” We soon learn of the situation. Meixang supports the family by working at a restaurant in the nearby city of Harbin. Their mother is dead from cancer, and the father is usually drunk and has not worked for three years, because of a “bad back”. She has messaged her dozens of times, and called a hundred times without response. Lu responds by embarking on an extensive investigation…. initially the usual checking of phone records, social media, financials and multiple databases…. and hospitals and morgues. When calling the Harbin paichusuo he encounters the expected response: “We’re pretty busy - but we’ll “jin liang”. Lu knows when they say “we’ll do our best” … they actually mean …. they might get around to thinking about doing something if absolutely nothing else better comes along. Lu takes matters into his own hands, and travels to Harbin to further the investigation by visiting Meixang’s apartment and place of employment. The restaurant is a rather high end establishment that features exotic meats and dishes that feature medicinal properties. By judging the attire and accoutrements of the diners, this establishment obviously caters to the rich and powerful. Although the main menu does not list any forbidden dishes… there are whispers and requests for “the special menu”. Lu Fei meets with the owner and manager, “Wilson” Fang, and although he denies any knowledge of Meixiang’s disappearance and can provide no helpful information…. Lu Fei suspects a linkage between her disappearance and the probable Illegal special menu. Brian Klingborg provides a masterful and immersive narrative creating a riveting twisted string of multiple unexpected reveals that propel this page-turner. Inspector Lu Fei indicates he’s not a special agent .. and just a cop. And, yet to achieve closure and justice he must go undercover, change his appearance, develop a backstory and infiltrate the inner circle of a nefarious global animal-trafficking operation, embedded deep in the interior jungles of Myanmar. He is posing as Long, Ming, a buyer of exotic bushmeat. During the course of his deception, he is treated to a multi-course meal of: crocodile carpaccio, bat boiled in ginger, bamboo rat stuffed with vegetables, and a “hot pot” consisting of pangolin, snake and caterpillar simmered in a base of chicken broth, along with a glass of Shaoxing wine …. and for appetizers the penises of either tiger or bear. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press / Minotaur Books for providing an Uncorrected Proof in exchange for an honest review. This novel will appeal to fans of other beloved series .. such as those of Detective Bernie Gunther from the pen of Philip Kerr and Deon Meyer’s equally enjoyable Detective Benny Griessel. Klingborg’s knowledge of East Asian Studies and his experience with living and working in Asia are on full display in this fascinating tale. Hopefully, there will be many more Inspector Lu Fei investigations.

  4. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Chinese police procedural thriller! Klingborg has taken up various themes and run with them through this continuation into the exploits of the very unusual Deputy Chief Inspector Lu Fei a police officer with the Public Security Bureau, in the township of Raven, Heilongjiang Province in Northern China. When we first see Lu he’s staking out a local market looking for a fugitive involved in the black market trade of exotic animal products that will be made into medicinal remedies. What with the incr Chinese police procedural thriller! Klingborg has taken up various themes and run with them through this continuation into the exploits of the very unusual Deputy Chief Inspector Lu Fei a police officer with the Public Security Bureau, in the township of Raven, Heilongjiang Province in Northern China. When we first see Lu he’s staking out a local market looking for a fugitive involved in the black market trade of exotic animal products that will be made into medicinal remedies. What with the increasing pressure from international conservationists and in the wake of the ravages of coronavirus, the Peoples Republic of China is serious about stamping out this centuries old trade. Meanwhile a young girl, Tan Meirong, haunts the Raven police station (the paichusuo) insisting someone find her older missing sister, Meixiang. It turns out Meixiang was working for a restaurant that sold illicit bushmeat’s for those men needing the vigor of viagara but using the traditional, illegal methods. There’s a little more going on in this restaurant than this though. Lu ends up going undercover into Burma (Myanmar) to source the operational headquarters of these outlawed products. What he finds is more than he’d bargained for. What he faces is dangerous in the extreme, as is the very unusual person in charge of the operation. All this is part of endeavouring to find out the fate of Miexiang. Lu’s overriding concern is for her. Along the way were given an insight into the lives of the general populace in the PRC, the hidden face of who is entitled to medical benefits, the fate of unemployed young country women seeking to become more financially independent who often end up working as prostitutes or in sweat shop factories. Lu’s personal life has him still endeavoring to build his relationship with the delightful Lou Yanyan owner of the tiny bar, the Red Lotus. I love their interactions. The pandemic flows along underneath, not focused on, just a part of life today. Lu’s determination to do the right thing is part of the endearment of who he is. That conviction leads him into dangerous situations that had me on the edge of my seat exclaiming, “Now What?” An enthralling and clever novel, with a lovely underlying wit, that speaks into the today of this area of the world. More than ever Lu is up there with my favorite Chinese detectives. A St. Martin's Press ARC via NetGalley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    In his earlier escapade, Inspector Lu Fei didn't stray far from home, and my joy in that book arose from interplay between the denizens of the police station in a small village. Here, he has to travel far afield in search of the answers to a missing, presumed dead, girl thanks to that girl's sister's perseverance. As I've mentioned before, for me a police procedural has to present more than plot in its pages, and Brian Klingborg delivers once again. Centered around the horrifying trafficking of In his earlier escapade, Inspector Lu Fei didn't stray far from home, and my joy in that book arose from interplay between the denizens of the police station in a small village. Here, he has to travel far afield in search of the answers to a missing, presumed dead, girl thanks to that girl's sister's perseverance. As I've mentioned before, for me a police procedural has to present more than plot in its pages, and Brian Klingborg delivers once again. Centered around the horrifying trafficking of exotic animals and the supposed medicinal properties of their parts, this page turner brings to life a foray into the steaming netherlands of Myanmar, with, at times, excruciating brutality, but Inspector Lu is a hero worth the effort.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    A missing woman, an exotic animal black market connection, and a policeman undercover make for an intense second installment to this series set in modern day China. After the first book captured my attention, I was primed and ready to grab up this next standalone mystery which took me on another amazing visit to China and following along with the engaging Inspector Lu. Wild Prey could standalone easily as it begins a new case for the unconventional Inspector Lu Fei though I will say that I think A missing woman, an exotic animal black market connection, and a policeman undercover make for an intense second installment to this series set in modern day China. After the first book captured my attention, I was primed and ready to grab up this next standalone mystery which took me on another amazing visit to China and following along with the engaging Inspector Lu. Wild Prey could standalone easily as it begins a new case for the unconventional Inspector Lu Fei though I will say that I think the author gave a much deeper background into Lu Fei and the situation in his part of China in the first book. Wild Prey opens with a gruesome prologue set in the steaming jungle of Myanmar before shifting to the backwater city, Raven Valley, in China where Inspector Lu is going about his usual police cases and still trying to get the pretty Yanyan to give him a chance. He ends up with a missing person case that should have never been his jurisdiction because it happened in the city of Harlen some distance away. The author has already painted a picture of modern day China and how things work. Lu is a man of parts. He ended up in a backwater precinct where he probably won’t advance far because he isn’t exactly one who plays by the rules when it comes to the social and political games one must play. He doesn’t care how powerful the person is; he’s not turning a blind eye and will stay tenaciously on a case that others are trying to sweep under the carpet. That is the situation he finds himself in once again with this mystery. He’s been warned off a case because it might expose powerful party officials who’ve been frequenting a restaurant that serves illegal exotic animals on the menu and some hanky panky with the waitresses ala carte. One of the waitresses has gone missing and her little sister’s persistent pleas for justice keep him on the trail when warnings from the restaurant owner, the Harlen police chief, and his own chief don’t stop him. The first mystery was more police procedural tracking a serial killer, but this one jumps those rails and heads into spy thriller territory when Lu is put on probation and approached by a shadowy figure from China’s version of the CIA to go undercover and pursue the missing woman case by following the exotic animal procurement end and tracking the on the run restaurant owner who could lead him to the woman. I was on the edge of my seat and flipping pages rapidly trying to see how Lu, who is the least like an undercover agent as it gets, is dropped into the deep end of the pool playing a shady character role, hanging out with real criminals, and eventually going into a female warlord’s territory down in Myanmar. Wild Prey was intense and exciting and the build to the end was full of twists and surprises. It even goes over the top as to plausibility, but I was hooked and couldn’t have stopped reading for anything. The resolve was a big surprise. I was left most satisfied and looking forward to more from this fledgling series. I’d recommend it to those who enjoy murder mysteries set in Asia with a lone wolf Chinese detective as the main figure. I rec'd an eARC through NetGalley to read in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carol lowkey.bookish

    This is the second book I have read in the Inspector Lu Fei mystery series. This is such a gripping mystery series that I am loving my visit to the gritty world of this police procedural. I really enjoyed the unique setting and glimpses of Chinese culture. Police Inspector Lu Fei is such an interesting character. He keeps getting sideways with those in power and it really adds to some interesting scenes in the book. I feel like I got to know him better, which was a wish after reading the first b This is the second book I have read in the Inspector Lu Fei mystery series. This is such a gripping mystery series that I am loving my visit to the gritty world of this police procedural. I really enjoyed the unique setting and glimpses of Chinese culture. Police Inspector Lu Fei is such an interesting character. He keeps getting sideways with those in power and it really adds to some interesting scenes in the book. I feel like I got to know him better, which was a wish after reading the first book in the series. Everything he has to go through while he is undercover...yikes! All in all, a nail-biter with an action packed undercover assignment culminating in a satisfying ending. I received a complementary review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    Whoosh. Wow. W O W. When one doesn't read the blurbs of books [because I don't WANT to know everything that is going to happen in 2 paragraphs; if I did, I'd just read that and not the whole book [eyeroll] ] by authors one has already read [or not read for that matter, but in this case, I had read the first book in this series and loved it], one is often surprised by the subject matter of said book that one is currently reading. That is exactly what happened with me and this book. I need to pref Whoosh. Wow. W O W. When one doesn't read the blurbs of books [because I don't WANT to know everything that is going to happen in 2 paragraphs; if I did, I'd just read that and not the whole book [eyeroll] ] by authors one has already read [or not read for that matter, but in this case, I had read the first book in this series and loved it], one is often surprised by the subject matter of said book that one is currently reading. That is exactly what happened with me and this book. I need to preface this review with this - I really liked this book. It was so good and so well-written and I never saw anything that happened coming. Most of the book blew me away. I learned a TON of stuff that I never needed to learn. E V E R. Still, learning is learning right? All that said, this was a rough book. There were days where I could only read 5% of the book and then had to quit because it had unsettled me so much. NOT because I was unaware that these things were happening, but because I WAS aware and the writing was so good that it really creeped me out and there were moments where my heart was racing so bad I thought I was going to have a panic attack [yes, I still believe this was an excellent read. I am a weirdo]. I finally finished this at 3am this morning [5.28.2022] and then couldn't sleep because I had wild animals and the jungle and a very creepy man haunting me. I will say that the reveal and the ending was extremely satisfying and very unexpected. And left me with hope that there will be a third book. It was all one could ask for [and not ask for if one is honest] in a good mystery/cultural read. The author does his research and writes with a deft hand and produces an amazing read. I am so glad I found this author and this series; it is absolutely one of my favorites now. (view spoiler)[ **As a side note, it is weird that I read TWO books at the same time that were about animal trafficking [the other book is a cozy mystery and that one had exotic animal trafficking into Canada for people to own - yes it was as icky as it sounds [I mean, who needs a toucan or a TIGER {there are tigers in both books and this one was much more dangerous and angry} as a pet?], and also a very good read. I mean, WHAT are the odds? ** (hide spoiler)] Thank you to NetGalley, Brian Klingborg, and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amber Humphries

    Thank you to St Martins Press and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Police Inspector Lu Fei has a way of finding trouble as he bucks the establishment to find the killer of a young woman. He travels in China, then abroad in Myanmar, searching for answers and justice. I began this book not sure what to expect. I hadn't read the first Inspector Lu Fei mystery but that didn't matter. There are slight references to the first novel which only made me more excited to go back and ch Thank you to St Martins Press and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Police Inspector Lu Fei has a way of finding trouble as he bucks the establishment to find the killer of a young woman. He travels in China, then abroad in Myanmar, searching for answers and justice. I began this book not sure what to expect. I hadn't read the first Inspector Lu Fei mystery but that didn't matter. There are slight references to the first novel which only made me more excited to go back and check it out than detract from the story. I appreciated the detailed descriptions of the government and how all the various systems work. For someone that isn't knowledgeable of Communist China, having cultural explanations is a plus. Lu Fei himself was also a great character. I found his way of doggedly following the clues very engaging. By the time Lu Fei journeyed to Mynamar, I was hooked and wanted to find out who the killer was. Without giving anything away, I was surprised with how everything developed and enjoyed the mystery from start to end. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys mystery and wants to expand their cultural horizons.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    I don’t inherently think about it, but it’s rare that I read a book about or set in China. That changed with Wild Prey. It was set in both China and Myanmar and it was a wild ride. The beginning was a bit slow and it was a bit of a struggle to get through the first quarter because of that. But once I was in the thick of the plot it flowed fast. Lu Fei is a cop that goes undercover to find a missing girl. He ends up at a wildlife park that caters to people that eat the illegal animals for “medici I don’t inherently think about it, but it’s rare that I read a book about or set in China. That changed with Wild Prey. It was set in both China and Myanmar and it was a wild ride. The beginning was a bit slow and it was a bit of a struggle to get through the first quarter because of that. But once I was in the thick of the plot it flowed fast. Lu Fei is a cop that goes undercover to find a missing girl. He ends up at a wildlife park that caters to people that eat the illegal animals for “medicinal purposes.” There is so much going on here with the wildlife, the corrupt officials, the park owner, etc. And because it’s set in present day, they mention coronavirus many times. I appreciated that it was part of the storyline but didn’t take away from the story. I enjoyed this book and liked the twist at the end. I look forward to reading other Lu Fei stories. Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Minotaur Books for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart   Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 4.5 hearts Everything I said in my review of the first book, Thief of Souls, is still true.  I like Inspector Lu and his integrity is solid.  He is the point of view for our view into this unfamiliar country, China, its culture and politics.  Lu cares about people and treats them with respect.  He is not interested in power and po This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart   Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. 4.5 hearts Everything I said in my review of the first book, Thief of Souls, is still true.  I like Inspector Lu and his integrity is solid.  He is the point of view for our view into this unfamiliar country, China, its culture and politics.  Lu cares about people and treats them with respect.  He is not interested in power and politics but they often get in the way of his job. It’s an interesting world culturally. There are so many dangers and severe consequences with few upsides available. Dictatorship with oligarchy has all downsides unless you are at the top. You either have to be born there or extremely ruthless. I’m not thinking one can work their way up. One could get favors maybe but those would be pretty limited and at anytime one could be cut off. For the current case of a missing young women, a nobody except to her younger sister, he works to determine what happened to her and if she is still alive.  Unfortunately, those who are powerful either don't care, or prefer her dead.  It's a good thing Inspector Lu has skills and fortitude because stepped in it here.  He was in extreme danger most of the time.  People around him died and he could have easily died as well. The pace was frenetic! To the displeasure of some in power, he investigates with meticulous efforts, slowly progressing to the truth.  Truth can be a dangerous thing, but he perseveres. More than one person tries to disable him to stop him from finding the young women or her body and uncover unsavory truths. Fortunately, he has a few friends but he easily makes new enemies.  The political situation is oppressive and he barely manages. Personally,  he continues to pursue a relationship with the widow, Yanyan.  He seems to make a bit of progress.  I worry about her business and safety if Lu continues to pursue the truth instead of caving to politics.  I look forward to continuing to read the Inspector Lu series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    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 ille 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. The book opens with an incredibly awful scene (power through it) that involves the killing of a tiger. What was especially well done, however, was Klingborg’s portrait of the two men who kill the tiger – they are absolutely desperate and will use whatever money they gain to help feed their entire village. It doesn’t excuse what they do but it makes it understandable. Then the reader is invited back to Lu Fei’s tiny town where a young girl begins showing up at the police station and refusing to leave. She’s looking for her missing sister, who was not only the economic backbone of their little family (their mother is dead, and their dad is an unemployed drunk who “can’t work”) but the emotional center of the girls’ life. Meixiang, the older sister, worked as a waitress at an exclusive place in Harbin. Meirong, the younger sister, shows up every day demanding answers, and Lu Fei cannot refuse her. His investigation takes him to the Meixiang’s restaurant, which appears to be the place she was last seen, and in doing so he upsets the status quo and alarms some Harbin higher ups. He’s suspended and that’s when he recruited by an officer in the National Forestry and Grassland Association. They are looking to curb the illegal consumption of exotic animals (including bear, pangolin, tiger, wolf, and many others) and shut down a large operation that appears to be based in Myanmar. One of the delights of the book is Lu’s trip to Harbin with his hopefully soon to be girlfriend, Yanyang, to effect his undercover transformation, which includes euro trash clothes, a fake tattoo, and a new haircut. He then heads to the airport where he’ll meet with the mystery man who he’s seen only on video. His incentive: to find out what happened to Meixiang, and hopefully regain his job in the police department. He can’t imagine doing anything else with his life. The book than becomes a nonstop adventure story, studded with memorable characters. While what the people in the book are doing to animals (and also, frequently, to humans) is completely grotesque, Klingborg manages to create some fascinating and compellingly interesting characters who prove to be unforgettable. While I think Klingborg’s gifts are character based, he’s fond of action as both of his novels prove, and he’s also fond of the unexpected twist. There were at least three in this book I didn’t see coming, including the final one, which is very well done. While the idea that Lu Fei would be killed seemed remote – he’s the hero of the series – he sure comes close many times in this novel. I loved the explication of culture, and the look into a life so different from my own. Books are such an expansive way to see the world – while I may never go to Harbin, China or the jungles of Myanmar, I feel like I made a journey, and that the talented Klingborg has lifted the veil a bit for me to see what’s behind it. I very much look forward to book three.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Matt Mansfield

    A Most Dangerous Game Once in a great while you come across a driving taut what’s-going-on-here thriller with exotic characters and locations creating the feel of a contemporary Chinese noir. A devious world reminiscent of Raymond Chandler’s “Murder, My Sweet” made into the 1944 film classic with Dick Powell as Philip Marlowe. A young Chinese girl in Raven Valley, outside of Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province in modern day Northeastern China, comes to the local police station for help. H A Most Dangerous Game Once in a great while you come across a driving taut what’s-going-on-here thriller with exotic characters and locations creating the feel of a contemporary Chinese noir. A devious world reminiscent of Raymond Chandler’s “Murder, My Sweet” made into the 1944 film classic with Dick Powell as Philip Marlowe. A young Chinese girl in Raven Valley, outside of Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province in modern day Northeastern China, comes to the local police station for help. Her older sister has gone missing under mysterious circumstances, seemingly without a trace. Most of the local Public Security Bureau, aka police, ignore her… except one, Inspector Lu Fei. What might seem to be an unpromising start to another day at the station, however, has been foreshadowed by mysterious, grisly doings in a jungle far away. And cleaning up a local mess peddling black market animal products for medicinal and other devious remedies. Before long, Brian Klingborg’s 2022 dark twisty “Wild Prey”, the sequel to his “Thief of Souls”, sweeps us along on an off-the-record hunt for dangerous prey in the forests of Southeast Asia. No reading of the author’s first work required to appreciate this tale. Deep into the world of the illegal market for endangered animal products enters the Inspector with his own thin disguise chasing a sleek nightclub manager appropriately named, Fang. And soon surrounded by a slate of others dubious characters – Ding, Bang and Khaw. Against a rich atmospheric backdrop Klingborg blends in romance with Lu’s other pursuit of the widowed Luo Yanyan in her tiny bar, the Red Lotus. And intriguing tidbits about modern China, its expressions like “wu ming nu shi (no name women – i.e., Jane Does)”, and some of its more unusual endangered species such as the lethal Irukandji. And, of course, the main character’s world-weary humor: Huang, fellow staffer at the police station, is sketched by Lu as “good-natured and honest, but dumb as a petrified tree stump.” Or describing two middle-aged men sitting in the local plaza with shirts pulled up exposing bellies as “a budget version of air-conditioning that some wag dubbed the ‘Beijing bikini’”. And pure Chandler: “You don’t strike me as stupid, but you ask a lot of dumb questions.” If you have been missing a deft noir thriller, pounce.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Stivers

    I really enjoy this series. Lu is an interesting protagonist and a great lead for these stories. He's dogged determined, dedicated to justice in a place that isn't, but he's pragmatic (knows that there's a certain bit of leeway he has to give to get his target) and a touch impatient. He fights for people that most don't, like the victim at the start of this story who's written off by everyone but her little sister and Lu. I love rooting for him. The insights into contemporary China are also abso I really enjoy this series. Lu is an interesting protagonist and a great lead for these stories. He's dogged determined, dedicated to justice in a place that isn't, but he's pragmatic (knows that there's a certain bit of leeway he has to give to get his target) and a touch impatient. He fights for people that most don't, like the victim at the start of this story who's written off by everyone but her little sister and Lu. I love rooting for him. The insights into contemporary China are also absolutely fascinating and really set it apart from other detective series I've read before. This second mystery is set up well in the first few chapters though I did find it a bit slow to get to the promise of the book. For this genre I'd say it was too slow but I stuck with it because I knew in the end it'd be worth it (thanks to my trust in this author) and it was. I enjoyed the setting up of Lu's undercover persona and his adoption of it. I'd say once I hit the 40-ish percent mark, I was well into it and read voraciously to the end. It was low-key thrilling until it got to the explosive bit which was really exciting. I enjoyed the big villain in the jungle (trying so hard to not spoil anything but you'll know when you read it) and their philosophy on things, including how it plays into Lu's survival. (I don't think it's a spoiler to say Lu doesn't die because, really, this is a detective series and he's the lead.) The ending was fantastic! Everything had been planted well for things to turn out how they did and it was really satisfying. I can't wait to see more on Lu's personal side in the future with Yanyan in particular after their last scene together especially. All in all, I'm looking forward to book three in the Lu series! I still recommend this one, even with its slow start, because I think this series brings a lot of unique things to the table compared to other detective novels out there right now. If you like the genre, don't miss it! Note: I received a free electronic edition of this book via NetGalley in exchange for the honest review above. I would like to thank them, the publisher, and the author for the opportunity to do so.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Lu Fei is a police inspector relegated to rural northern China. A teenaged girl wants him to find her missing sister, and, while he’s reluctant to do so, the girl is persistent and he finally agrees to investigate the older sister’s disappearance. The more he digs, the more intrigued he becomes. He is suspended from the police force when his digging goes too deep and ruffles the feathers of the rich and powerful. When given the opportunity to continue his hunt, he goes undercover for another age Lu Fei is a police inspector relegated to rural northern China. A teenaged girl wants him to find her missing sister, and, while he’s reluctant to do so, the girl is persistent and he finally agrees to investigate the older sister’s disappearance. The more he digs, the more intrigued he becomes. He is suspended from the police force when his digging goes too deep and ruffles the feathers of the rich and powerful. When given the opportunity to continue his hunt, he goes undercover for another agency and travels to Myanmar. This book, unlike the first in this series, is not for the faint of heart. There is animal cruelty, which is not gratuitous, and serves the purpose of showing that there are still those in China who believe that animals will provide men with prowesses, etc. Did the author have to be so graphic in his descriptions, probably not, but perhaps he wanted to bring attention to the underworld trade in exotic, and sometimes endangered, species and this was one way of doing that. This is the second book in the series and can be read without having read the first book because the author does a good job of giving just enough information on some of the characters from the first book, so the reader isn’t lost. However, the first book was character driven and Klingborg created an unusual character in the ethical police inspector Lu Fei. Read the first book so you understand more clearly why Lu Fei is willing to jeopardize his livelihood to bring these criminals to justice. If you can’t abide the animal cruelty in this book and you haven’t read the first book in the series, read the first one instead. If you can’t abide animal cruelty and can skip over those scenes, then read this book. This is definitely a series you’ll want to read if you like books set in foreign countries and featuring a well-researched main character who lives there. My thanks to Minotaur and Edelweiss for an eARC.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jean Kolinofsky

    Brian Klingborg introduced police inspector Lu Fei in Thief of Souls. In a system where it is wise to keep a low profile, he is an honest man who follows his conscience, which inevitably leads to trouble. In Wild Prey, Meiring, a fifteen year old girl, arrives at the station to report that her sister is missing. She is persistent and sits a bench at the station every day demanding action. Lu Fei traces her to a restaurant where the special menu features endangered animals. The restaurant has pow Brian Klingborg introduced police inspector Lu Fei in Thief of Souls. In a system where it is wise to keep a low profile, he is an honest man who follows his conscience, which inevitably leads to trouble. In Wild Prey, Meiring, a fifteen year old girl, arrives at the station to report that her sister is missing. She is persistent and sits a bench at the station every day demanding action. Lu Fei traces her to a restaurant where the special menu features endangered animals. The restaurant has powerful patrons. When Lu Fei refuses to give up his search for the girl he is suspended. In exchange for information on the girl, Lu Fei is recruited by a government minister to go undercover as a buyer of exotic animals. The trail leads to a compound in the forests of Mayanmar. It is run by Khaw, a female warlord who is surrounded by guards. Lu Fei’s biggest fear is that he will not get out alive. Klingborg’s story presents a fascinating look at Chinese culture. Lu Fei quotes poetry and has a saying for almost every occasion. He is in love with Luo Yanyan, owner of a local bar. While they have grown closer, she is a widow who still mourns her husband. There are lighter moments provided by Meiring when she insists on helping Lu Fei with his investigation and also comes between Yanyan and LuFei. The descriptions of endangered animals being served and prepared for slaughter are disturbing, but Klingborg keeps the narrative brief. It is Lu Fei’s reaction to what he observes that conveys his revulsion. He is a character that also approaches situations with humor, making him easy to love. This is a wonderful series and Wild Prey will leave you looking forward to Lu Fei’s next case. I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing this book for my review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Inspector Lu Fei is a wonderful character. In a series best read in order, Lu Fei os a member of the Public Security Bureau and has a knack for getting on the wrong side of those in power. He finds himself in a backwater after an incident involving his boss. His current case is to track down Chen who is involved with the illegal trade in bush meat - exotic animals and various body parts bring big money and the purveyors will stop at nothing to keep their business going. After a stake out at the Inspector Lu Fei is a wonderful character. In a series best read in order, Lu Fei os a member of the Public Security Bureau and has a knack for getting on the wrong side of those in power. He finds himself in a backwater after an incident involving his boss. His current case is to track down Chen who is involved with the illegal trade in bush meat - exotic animals and various body parts bring big money and the purveyors will stop at nothing to keep their business going. After a stake out at the public market he returns to the police station and encounters a teenaged girl asking for help finding her missing sister. One thing leads to another and Lu Fei is, again, told to stop his investigation. The missing girl was working at a very upscale restaurant which had a secret menu for those with money and knowledge of its existence. The menu is all exotic fare and 100% illegal. Lu Fei is sticking his nose into their business and must be stopped. Instead of being stopped he finds himself redirected into doing undercover work to investigate the trafficking of bush meat and the powerful woman who is behind the operation. I read the first book of the series, Thief of Souls and gave it 5 stars. Wild Prey also deserves 5 stars. The topic is dark but not gratuitous and the use of humor is pitch perfect. From the town in Northern China into the wilds of Myanmar, this is a trip into areas hidden from most people. I'm saving a spot on my TBR for future books in the series. My thanks to the publisher Minotaur and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    Author Brian Klingborg mined all the potential from his first Lu Fei mystery, Thief of Souls, and created a standout in Wild Prey-- even though the treatment of animals and most of the listed cuisine is stomach-churning. From flashes of laugh-out-loud humor to learning Chinese slang to the mind-boggling fact that there are 200 million surveillance cameras in China to the story itself, I was engrossed. Even though there is still the age-old problem of the rich and powerful insisting on being abov Author Brian Klingborg mined all the potential from his first Lu Fei mystery, Thief of Souls, and created a standout in Wild Prey-- even though the treatment of animals and most of the listed cuisine is stomach-churning. From flashes of laugh-out-loud humor to learning Chinese slang to the mind-boggling fact that there are 200 million surveillance cameras in China to the story itself, I was engrossed. Even though there is still the age-old problem of the rich and powerful insisting on being above the law, it is good to learn that China is finally bowing to international pressure and the coronavirus to crack down on the illegal wildlife trade. Inspector Lu Fei still finds almost no help from his fellow police officers, but at least he does have one friend in a high place-- and two fellow characters to help him carry the load. One, the teenage Meirong, is alternately funny and endearing as she camps out in the police station to shame Lu Fei into finding her sister. Little does she know, he is working on the case, he's just not telling her everything he's doing. The second character helping to carry the story load is the female warlord in Myanmar. She's not your typical thug even though you'd be a fool to turn your back on her. And at least Lu Fei has one person who's not involved in his work. It's the bar owner Yanyan with whom he's passionately in love, although she still seems to be in love with her dead husband. Watching that relationship unfold is interesting, to say the least. Will Lu Fei win Yanyan over? We shall see. For those of you worried about those animal trafficking scenes and the descriptions of the dishes made from the animals, Klingborg does not go overboard. He knows that a light touch is the best way to proceed and although those scenes are few and of short duration, they still resonate and show the importance of why this trade must stop. We humans have to be intelligent enough to devise new ways to show off immense wealth and to cure erectile dysfunction. Don't we? In Wild Prey, Brian Klingborg shows that there are people willing to put their lives on the line to put a stop to one of the more disgusting ways to prove you're a big shot. (Review copy courtesy of the publisher and Net Galley)

  19. 5 out of 5

    First Clue

    The aftermath of the pandemic combines with desperation and greed in the second in Klingborg’s series, a thriller set in northern China and Myanmar. It stars Inspector Lu Fei, whom we meet while he and his colleagues—idiots every one, if we’re to believe Lu—stalk a man who’s suspected of selling endangered-animal parts that are popular as folk remedies. The government has cracked down hard on live-animal (or “wet”) markets since COVID-19 made them the focus of the world’s attention, and it’s Lu’ The aftermath of the pandemic combines with desperation and greed in the second in Klingborg’s series, a thriller set in northern China and Myanmar. It stars Inspector Lu Fei, whom we meet while he and his colleagues—idiots every one, if we’re to believe Lu—stalk a man who’s suspected of selling endangered-animal parts that are popular as folk remedies. The government has cracked down hard on live-animal (or “wet”) markets since COVID-19 made them the focus of the world’s attention, and it’s Lu’s duty to make the rigid bureaucracy felt on the ground. Back at the station, a thin, scared girl, Tan Meirong, won’t leave until someone pays attention to the disappearance of her sister, Meixiang, who works in a restaurant that Lu learns has “off-menu” items for rich diners. It’s hard for even Lu to get someone to care about Meixiang, who’s regarded as rather disposable, but he persists, going undercover to the source of the forbidden delicacies. Lu Fei is a character to ponder. He’s mean to his girlfriend and even Meirong, but he won’t let Meixiang go. But mostly readers will be caught up in the exciting international chase that sees Lu hitting the road with little regard for his safety and armed with little except a strong desire to trample odious characters. James Patterson fans, this one’s for you!—Henrietta Verma For more reviews of new crime fiction, subscribe to our weekly newsletter, First Clue: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/First...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    A terrific addition to a unique procedural series that is as much about policing in China as it is about the crime. Inspector Lu Fei finds himself pulled into an investigation much bigger than he expected when he succumbs to the persistent entities of Meirong to find her sister Meixing, who went missing from her waitressing job at a restaurant that serves VIPS bushmeat among other things. Meirong won't let go and Lu Fei, against the instructions of his superiors, pushes and pushes until he's sus A terrific addition to a unique procedural series that is as much about policing in China as it is about the crime. Inspector Lu Fei finds himself pulled into an investigation much bigger than he expected when he succumbs to the persistent entities of Meirong to find her sister Meixing, who went missing from her waitressing job at a restaurant that serves VIPS bushmeat among other things. Meirong won't let go and Lu Fei, against the instructions of his superiors, pushes and pushes until he's suspended. And then, he's approached by an official of the central government who convinces him to go undercover to locate the restaurant owner at the hidden headquarters of the woman who controls the import of prohibited animal parts. Gentle readers should know that this starts with the gruesome mutilation of an animal, that there's more of it, and that there are also some tough things done to people. This twists (no spoilers from me) and not everyone is who they appear to be. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Don't worry if you missed the first one (although you missed a boffo read), this will be fine as a standalone. I'm a fan and I'm eager for the next one.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    The second mystery in a series featuring Chinese police inspector Lu Fei, banished to a remote backwater because he stubbornly keeps pushing to get to the bottom of things even when he’s told to drop it by corrupt, incompetent superiors and Communist Party officials. In the first book, Lu Fei unmasked a truly creepy serial killer. In this one, he’s trying to find a missing young woman, and begins to suspect that her disappearance might have something to do with a dangerous, secretive hive of dea The second mystery in a series featuring Chinese police inspector Lu Fei, banished to a remote backwater because he stubbornly keeps pushing to get to the bottom of things even when he’s told to drop it by corrupt, incompetent superiors and Communist Party officials. In the first book, Lu Fei unmasked a truly creepy serial killer. In this one, he’s trying to find a missing young woman, and begins to suspect that her disappearance might have something to do with a dangerous, secretive hive of dealers in the highly illegal trade in animals, no matter how endangered, whose parts are prized for their use in traditional medicines but especially to be feasted on by rich and connected business types. Lu Fei finds himself undercover in the Burmese jungle trying to get to the heart of a secret compound from which much of the trade emanates. This is not for those who find descriptions of animal cruelty distressing. Oh dear, I fear I must be a bad person, because I admit that I gloried in the fact that a Burmese tiger turned the tables.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    Inspector Lu Fei returns in Wild Prey the gripping second installment in the series by Brian Klingborg. He's as endearing and in as much trouble as he was in Thief of Souls. This time, while investigating a missing young waitress, he uncovers the illegal trade of endangered animals being secretly killed and sold to restaurants for VIP plate experiences. Unfortunately, this revelation also uncovers and annoys some very well protected criminals and lands Lu Fie suspended from the force. Temporaril Inspector Lu Fei returns in Wild Prey the gripping second installment in the series by Brian Klingborg. He's as endearing and in as much trouble as he was in Thief of Souls. This time, while investigating a missing young waitress, he uncovers the illegal trade of endangered animals being secretly killed and sold to restaurants for VIP plate experiences. Unfortunately, this revelation also uncovers and annoys some very well protected criminals and lands Lu Fie suspended from the force. Temporarily relieved of his duties, frees Lu Fie up to go undercover when contacted by a high-ranking government official also hoping to bust this very same operation. Disguised, he infiltrates a compound hidden among the wild lands of Myanmar and run by a mysterious and ruthless woman. Lu risks career and life in search of the truth. Lu Fei remains a man of character searching for justice among corruption, privilege and evil.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tristan

    I did not get a chance to read the first book in the Lu Fei series before jumping into Wild Prey, but that did not prove to be a hindrance at all. This book immediately starts off with a bang and I had no trouble at all picking up on the protagonist, his backstory, the setting, etc. Klingborg does a fantastic and meticulous job of immersing the reader into modern day China and Asia and describing the political tension and culture that takes place there. The characters in this book are dimensiona I did not get a chance to read the first book in the Lu Fei series before jumping into Wild Prey, but that did not prove to be a hindrance at all. This book immediately starts off with a bang and I had no trouble at all picking up on the protagonist, his backstory, the setting, etc. Klingborg does a fantastic and meticulous job of immersing the reader into modern day China and Asia and describing the political tension and culture that takes place there. The characters in this book are dimensional and intense. The story is perfectly paced and consistent which makes for very fluid reading. Lu Fei is very much the male policemen who boldly and carelessly throws himself into the line of danger when there might have been a more strategic way to achieve what he wants, but in the end, danger is what makes for a great read. Thank you St Martin's Press for the eGalley ARC!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mike Stafford

    I'd have to be "as dumb as a petrified tree stump" not to enjoy Wild Prey by Brian Klingborg. His first Inspector Lu Fei mystery was the pleasant surprise of 2021. If you liked Thief Of Souls, you'll want to read this one too! The colorful supporting cast is back in this tale, but it quickly becomes more of a solo adventure for Lu Fei as he tries to locate a missing girl. It's no easy task. But, our intrepid inspector risks life and limb because duty calls. Klingborg again pairs charming wit wit I'd have to be "as dumb as a petrified tree stump" not to enjoy Wild Prey by Brian Klingborg. His first Inspector Lu Fei mystery was the pleasant surprise of 2021. If you liked Thief Of Souls, you'll want to read this one too! The colorful supporting cast is back in this tale, but it quickly becomes more of a solo adventure for Lu Fei as he tries to locate a missing girl. It's no easy task. But, our intrepid inspector risks life and limb because duty calls. Klingborg again pairs charming wit with gritty action. It's a winning combination. It's a satisfying sequel in what I hope will be a long running series. Thank you to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the advanced reading copy! #WildPrey #NetGalley

  25. 5 out of 5

    Doug

    Really enjoyed this book. I have a love of mysteries when the detective is working under (and against) an authoritarian regime (think Bernie Gunther and Arkady Renko). Lu Fei is a smart-ass policeman in Communist China who is morally compelled to find a missing woman, despite his bosses telling him to drop it. You learn a lot about modern crime in China and the illicit market in animal parts. Great detail but with a lively, action-packed plot and fascinating characters. I highly recommend it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heather Densmore

    Thoroughly enjoyed this Inspector Lu Fei mystery about a young waitress who goes missing and may be linked to the illegal animal trade. The dialogue is snappy, the characters well fleshed out and the mystery taut. Thank you to the author and publisher for the ARC I received through a Goodreads giveaway.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Pulignani

    Great mystery

  28. 5 out of 5

    TC

    Recommended Review posted at Tzer Island book blog: https://www.tzerisland.com/bookblog/2... Recommended Review posted at Tzer Island book blog: https://www.tzerisland.com/bookblog/2...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Second in the series. Police procedural involving a search for a missing girl and a black market in exotic animals set in modern day China. There are so many interesting details about the every day life of a low-level Chinese police officer by an author who has an advanced degree in East Asian studies and who lived and worked in Asia for years. Hope he continues this series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mf minnis

    Love the setting and Detective Lu This is my second Detective Lu mystery. Well written, interesting learning about life in China. I hope there is a Book 3.

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