A Devil’s Mind

As you may know by now, I am attracted to books placed in foreign countries, especially when the author lives in that country.

This murder mystery was originally published in China as Criminal Minds–The Files. I think that title is a better representation of the book. It was very popular in China, but I expect American readers will struggle with it because, as one two-star rater wrote, there is too much confusion.

I believe the author (and perhaps the translator) could have eliminated the too-numerous-to-count repetitions. There was very little of the SDT–show, don’t tell–happening. That was especially true of the emotional reactions of the characters.

I assume the author’s style fits in China, but it is heavy-handed in the US. On the other hand, many readers will be surprised at the sophisticated level of police work being done today in China.

This is a police procedural at its most elemental.

Still, I recommend the book. It is an interesting story and, after interviewing all the witnesses who might have been guilty, you would have to channel Agatha Christy to divine the outcome before the last few chapters. I did not.

Mike Lawrence

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