THE ADVERSARY by Michael Walters


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A police officer goes up against a crime family whose tentacles stretch from modern Ulan Baatar to the primitive steppes.

When the fix is on and the trial of master criminal Muunokhoi goes belly up, Doripalam, of the Special Investigative branch, is not best pleased to have his former boss and mentor Nergui, now promoted to the Ministry of Security, back on his old patch to set matters right. For his part, Nergui has more than Doripalam’s hurt feelings to worry about. He has to maneuver carefully because there are traitors at Muunokhoi’s beck and call working within the service, and his former associate may be one of them. Further complications arise when Mrs. Tuya, who has reported her teenaged son Gavaa missing, is tortured and killed and her four brothers take off. Nergui, who has been pursuing Muunokhoi for more than two decades, gets an inkling that the criminal’s whereabouts may be connected to the missing boy’s. But it will take many trips to abandoned yurts and the disentangling of seemingly unrelated lives before he can piece together the patchwork of trouble.

Just when you thought nothing new could be added to the police procedural, along comes an intriguing glimpse of Mongolian culture, politics and scenery through the eyes of a deeply complex protagonist (The Shadow Walker, 2006).

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-425-22596-7
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2009