Special District: Harbin

Drawing the Tiger’s Bones

Fiction - Mystery - Historical
326 Pages
Reviewed on 08/04/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Sheena Monnin for Readers' Favorite

Special District: Harbin: Drawing the Tiger’s Bones by Tim Stickel is a fascinating story about a turbulent time in China when the Russian presence felt smothering and the undertones of resistance ran strong. The year is 1929 and young Borya, part Russian and part Chinese, is a lowly police officer with little hope of advancement. Pushed aside by both sides of his ancestry, he feels destined to live as a loner. One day, the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself and he is assigned to help the jovial and wise Inspector Chinn solve a complex murder case. They set off to places far away, chasing down clues and finding themselves in incredible danger. In the end, young Borya learns the value of his upbringing and discovers that there are people who value his existence.

Special District: Harbin by Tim Stickel is one of the best books I have read in a long time! Each element feels authentic and I half-expected at any moment for the characters to jump out of the pages and onto my TV screen, so clearly was each scene written and so fully expressed was each character’s emotion. The author creates a world that compels the reader to dive deeper and deeper into the story, following each twist and turn of the plot with excitement. Rarely does a book so completely enthrall me, and this book hits the mark on every level. Excellent writing! Superb character development! Intricate and well-planned plot. I look forward to the remaining books in the series.