Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mandarin Gate” as Want to Read:
Mandarin Gate
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Mandarin Gate (Inspector Shan #7)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  240 ratings  ·  39 reviews
In Mandarin Gate, Edgar Award winner EliotPattison brings Shan back in a thriller that navigates theexplosive politicaland religious landscape of Tibet.In an earlier time, Shan Tao Yun was an Inspector stationed in Beijing. But he lost his position, his family and his freedom when he ran afoul of a powerful figure high in the Chinese government. Released unofficially from ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by Minotaur Books (first published November 1st 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mandarin Gate, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mandarin Gate

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 665)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
P.d.r. Lindsay
How nice, another inspector Shan story. Well, it's a story about Tibet really and what is happening in Tibet and that made me so angry and so sad.

From the fictional point of view this is another good solid piece of writing from a writer who chooses his words carefully and puts them together with a poet's ear.

The story is dramatic and the plot twists and jinks so that it is very hard to outguess Shan as he tries to sort out why one lama dies and who killed the three bodies found in the old conven
I really love this mystery writer. He has two series. The older series is about Shan, a Chinese detective, cast off from China and in love with Tibet. The series is powerful and troubling. The author knows a lot about Tibet. I suspect his visits there in the 1980s were for a Western government. He remains deeply alarmed by the Chinese campaign to wipe out a culture, a language, and a religion, but he always has at least one Chinese character who is different from the government. In this mystery ...more
Inspector Shan, once a crime investigator in Beijing, is now to quote him "an official damned inspector of dams" in Tibet. There were some wonderful characters and some interesting Buddhist practices, but from a plot perspective, I could have wished for more believability. Readers are asked to swallow some incredible stupidity on the part of the Chinese regime in Mandarin Gate. I am willing to believe that Chinese government functionaries can be corrupt, but not idiotic. Chinese government decis ...more
Margaret Sankey
Pattison's former Inspector Shan is a post-Cold War, Chinese character in the mold of Martin Cruz Smith's Arkady Renko--a Beijing detective who crossed the wrong politician and ended up in a Tibetan prison camp, from which he was called to sort out further embarrassing crimes and protests against the Chinese occupation. In this volume, Shan is out of the gulag, tasked as a ditch inspector among the Tibetan people who have grown to accept him as a reasonable person who is just as disgusted by the ...more
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

An elegant and literary whodunit, set against the backdrop of China’s brutal crushing of Tibetan society and beliefs.

Description: Shan used to be a police inspector in Beijing, but was imprisoned in a remote Tibetan jail after he ran afoul of a powerful figure in the Chinese Government. After being unofficially released, he has to remain in Tibet without status or official identity, unable to return home to Beijing. He now lives among outlawed Buddhist
This is a well-written mystery thriller that has as its theme, the Sinification of Tibet and its citizens by the Peoples Republic of China. The main character, Shan, is a former criminal investigator, who followed a chain of corruption too close to the upper ranks of the Communist Party, and was, as a result, sentenced to a hard-labor prison camp. It was in this camp that he became close to Tibetan lamas and priests and found himself "reincarnated" as a Tibetan Buddhist. Shan now lives in Tibet ...more
I always enjoy Eliot Pattison's book series featuring Inspector Shan - an exiled Chinese police officer in Tibet. This was a particularly good addition in the series as it introduced a new character Lieutenant Meng. I hope she will return in another book and add to the help Shan receives from some very unlikely people. Highly recommend this book and the entire series.
Juneau Public Library
Shan Tao Yun, formerly an inspector in Beijing, has been banished to Tibet in disgrace. China considers Tibet to be one of its autonomous regions, but in reality, many Tibetans live in persecution under Chinese authority. When a crime is committed and evidence is covered up by Chinese police, Shan begins his own investigation, during which a tender friendship develops between the Chinese investigator, who has immersed himself in Tibetan Buddhist life and belief, and one of the Tibetan monks he m ...more
Luanne Ollivier
Every once in a while it's good to step out of my reading comfort zone and pick up something different. The something different this time was Eliot Pattison's latest book Mandarin Gate.

This is the seventh book featuring Pattison's recurring character Shan Tao Yun. Shan was once an Police Inspector in Beijing, but was too good at his job. Corrupt officials sent him to one of the harshest work camps where he was taken under the wing of a Tibetan monk. Shan has embraced their philosophy and way of
Gloria Feit
The Inspector Shan series continues with a double-barreled story: an enigmatic murder mystery and a deep-seated description of the destruction of Tibetan culture and society. And Shan attempts only to seek the truth in face of the power of the state and his doubts of his own identity and role in Tibet.

It begins with the discovery of three murder victims, two men and a Tibetan nun, in a very old monastery which is being restored. Then a lama commits suicide while Shan is with him. None of these t
Mandarin Gate: Eliot Patterson

Life for continues to be difficult for Shan Tao Yun. Once a formidable Inspector stationed in Beijing, finally released from a work camp hoping to create some type of life for himself. But, the story opens in an unusual way where he meets him and two monks getting ready for a celebration and the reopening of a shrine. As one monk is chasing a thief and hopes to get back his bounty, Shan and Lokesh the other monk assist him in his quest. But, what happens next will n
Bliss and kinetic violence all in the same nano-second-that's how the first chapter ends. Prepare yourself for a long and serpentine trip to find the truth. A good melding of mystery, political intrigue, and Buddhism. The always inscrutable Shan is once again in the midst of solving three murders that no one really wants solved. Shan is the ditch inspector but gets involved due to personal reasons. This mystery has many layers and you're never quite sure where it's going. At times it's mesmerizi ...more
Not my cup of (yak butter) tea. I read this for my Peace Corps book group, but found it trite, badly written, and generally annoying. The characters are flat, the dialog is stilted, and the descriptions of the landscape-- which I am sure is stunning-- make it sound dull. Nonetheless the Tibetan cultural & political backdrop was compelling and the storyline just barely interesting enough to keep me going to the end.
I think I love the Inspector Shan books more for their characters and atmosphere than for the stories or mysteries. The stories are compelling enough to keep me reading, but what I find most is compelling is Shan's struggle with being Chinese in his adopted home of Tibet--being the fox in the hen house, so to speak. I've visited Beijing twice, 30 years apart, and the China that first intrigued me, seems just about gone now. The China that Shan represents. The landscape of the Tibet I visited loo ...more
Pat De
I will read more of the Shan series of Pattison. The mystery was very complicated and took the entire book to reveal after many twists and turns. I loved reading about the old Tibet and the religious culture of the country.
With a complex plot and captivating setting, Mandarin Gate guides the reader through the world of ancient and modern Tibetan mysticism and political unrest, so well known to followers of Shan and his companions.
One of the best in the Shan series

Much easier to follow than his two previous efforts. This had the page-turner feel of Skull Mantra. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Rita	 Marie
I stumbled upon this book in the "new mysteries" section of the library; it seemed worth a try. I liked it, but I didn't love it, and I'm not sure why. The setting is fascinating -- Tibet invaded by the Chinese and all the horrors that came after (which the author assures us in a postscript are completely factual), the plot is madly complex, and it takes to the very end to find out who did what and why. I guess the problem is the characters; they all seem rather flat and uninteresting. Many are ...more
These books are intriguing mysteries with well-developed characters...but what I love best is the portrayal of Tibet and the Tibetans. My heart breaks for what has been lost in that corner of the world.
Essentially, this is a mystery, but for me the mysteries in this series are secondary. What I love about the Shan series is its portrayal of life in Tibet. I learn so much about Tibet from these stories: its geography, its culture, Tibetan Buddhism, and Chinese policies in the region. Much is heartbreaking, but there's nobility too. A worthwhile read for anyone with even a passing interest in Tibet.
Very interesting backstory of life in Tibet and Buddhism.
What a devastating loss of culture and lifestyle.
Jul 17, 2013 Jodi rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not sure
I didn't realize that this book was in a series until I put it in here on goodreads. Maybe if I had started at book one, I would have liked it better. I just found it hard to get into and really care about the characters. I have read a lot about China but was not aware of the ethnic struggles between China and Tibet. It was also hard to believe that this book takes place in modern times with the mention of the internet when it could easily have taken place in the 1950s! Even earlier possibly wit ...more
Mary Ahlgren
I love Eliot Pattison's books for a variety of reasons. Mandarin Gate drew me right in. I have noticed that reading any of Pattison's books demands slowness, appropriate for the themes and subtexts of his very interesting stories. I appreciate especially that no culture is pure evil or only good. And I thank him for keeping Tibet in my awareness. Genocide is clearly present on this earth, and we must remember that wherever it is happening.
I've been a fan of Pattison's work for years, but I was a little disappointed by this book; maybe Pattison is getting tired of the series. His plot devices were creaky here and there, also his characterizations. Nevertheless I find his picture of Tibet under Chinese rule terrifically interesting. This book takes place after the railroad was opened across Tibet, so the politics are contemporary.
Tom Gorski
Pattison is one of a very few author's whose books, as I am reading them, make be stop at the end of each chapter (and often within chapters), close the book and take some time to reflect on what I have just read. Yes there is a great mystery story in these pages but his books are much more and Inspector Shan's spiritual journey is perhaps the key to each book in the series.
Patti K
Thankfully, Pattison has returned to his Tibetan series with Shan. It
was like a reunion with an old friend. He portrays the contemporary
scene in Tibet with all the Chinese oppression, forced changes, and
internment camps. Yet reading about the Tibetan people and their
enduring customs is enjoyable. The landscape as always features as
a character in the story. I recommend.
Shan is working as a ditch inspector in a remote area of Tibet when three bodies are found on the grounds of an old temple. The attempts to solve the crime pit him against agents of the Chinese government who have their own more sinister agenda. A vivid picture of contemporary Tibet and an excellent addition to a terrific series.
Good to re-encounter Pattison's Chinese dissident held in Tibet. The world he has become part of is full of the mysticism of Tibetan Buddhism, but is also riddled with fear of the Chinese police and military who will stop at nothing to stamp out the remnants of Tibetan culture.
a gripping mystery inside the bigger picture of china torturing tibet over five decades now, which alot more needs to be written of. a testimony to the strength of the tibetan people and their non-violent struggle to preserve their culture and religion faced with genocide.
Not the best book in this series but Pattison writes about what he knows.I feel that it was a bit confusing attempting to keep all the characters straight in this book and sort out their relationships with each other which does not occur in most of Pattison's books.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Don't Cry, Tai Lake (Inspector Chen Cao #7)
  • Hidden Moon (Inspector O, #2)
  • Slash and Burn (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #8)
  • Vulture Peak (Sonchai Jitpleecheep #5)
  • Samaritan's Secret
  • Whispering Death (Inspector Challis, #6)
  • Angry Little Girls
  • Moonlight Downs (Emily Tempest, #1)
  • The Incense Game (Sano Ichiro, #16)
  • Asking For The Moon (Dalziel & Pascoe, #16)
  • White Sky, Black Ice (Nathan Active Mystery, #1)
  • Chorus Of Mushrooms
  • My Land and My People: The Original Autobiography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet
  • Invisible Murder (Nina Borg, #2)
  • Murder at the Lanterne Rouge (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #12)
Edgar Award winning Eliot Pattison has been described as a "writer of faraway mysteries," a label which is particularly apt for someone whose travel and interests span a million miles of global trekking, visiting every continent but Antarctica.

An international lawyer by training, Pattison first combined his deep concerns for the people of Tibet with his interest in fiction writing in The Skull Ma
More about Eliot Pattison...
The Skull Mantra (Inspector Shan, #1) Bone Rattler: A Mystery of Colonial America (Duncan McCallum, #1) Water Touching Stone (Inspector Shan, #2) Bone Mountain (Inspector Shan, #3) Beautiful Ghosts (Inspector Shan, #4)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »