Internationally bestselling author Jan-Philipp Sendker's Whispering Shadows was "a darkly beautiful, heart-wrenching" journey through Hong Kong's sinister underbelly. The captivating second book in the series plunges us deeper into the dangerous heart of chinese politics.
Internationally bestselling author Jan-Philipp Sendker's Whispering Shadows was "a darkly beautiful, heart-wrenching" ( Booklist, starred review) journey through bustling Hong Kong's sinister underbelly. The captivating second book in the high-stakes Rising Dragon series plunges us deeper into the dangerous heart of Chinese politics.
Brooding expat and journalist Paul Leibovitz is beginning to imagine a new life for himself in Hong Kong, one in which the grief over a recent family tragedy doesn't consume him and his love for Christine Wu brings him great joy. When Christine gets an unexpected and emotionally-charged letter from her estranged brother, Paul journeys with her to a remote village outside of Shanghai, where a mysterious illness is affecting the locals.
Paul discovers a powerful chemical conglomerate is polluting a nearby lake, and Chinese officials are doing nothing to stop it. The victims demand justice, but taking legal action could prove even more dangerous than the strange disease itself. Government intimidation and political corruption threaten to suppress even the most passionate and audacious environmental activists. If Paul doesn't walk away, he could pull the woman he loves reluctantly back into a world she escaped from decades ago-putting their relationship and their lives at risk.
Suspenseful and rife with the page-turning storytelling that defines Sendker's remarkable work and harkens back to The Art of Hearing Heartbeats , The Language of Solitude offers a peerless look into contemporary China.
"[T]his new novel gives readers another vivid, fascinating, and haunting look at today's China. Highly recommended." Library Journal, Starred Review
The Language of Solitude I
You are someone who is hungry for love. This was the first time that a woman had said this to him. He did not know whether it was a criticism or a compliment. Aren't we all? he replied, without giving it great thought.
She smiled. Some are more so than others.
What about me? More or less?
More. More, more, more.
He took her in his arms. The delicate body that he was sometimes afraid he would crush. That could fill him with desire and render him helpless through long, sleepless nights like no one else in his life had done. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.
More. More, more, more.
Hungry for love. There had been people in his life who would have meant to hurt him with these words. And there had been times when they would have succeeded. He would have taken the words as an insult, and rejected them as an outrageous accusation.
Not today. Although the words "hunger" and "love" did not fit together in his head. For him, at least with Christine in his arms, love was abundance, happiness, and fulfillment. Hunger, on the other hand, was a need. Hunger had to be satisfied, at any price if necessary. Hunger knew only oneself; love, only the other. People who were hungry were weak, but people who loved were strong. If hunger and love had anything in common, it was that they were both immeasurable.
He asked her what she had meant by it. If he should take her words as a complaint or a compliment.
Neither one nor the other, she said. It's just something I've realized.
They left it at that.
Maybe, he thought, she was right. Perhaps the previous three years had left deeper traces than he was aware of. Three years in which he had wished for nothing more than to be alone. Three years in which a day when he had not exchanged a word with a single person had been a good day. A period in which his world had shrunk to the size of one house and a small, barely inhabited island with no cars in the South China Sea. Maybe a person who had had to withdraw himself so much, who had lived in the past and on memories, who had loved nothing and no one on this earth more than someone dead, was a person who was in more trouble than Paul wanted to accept.
Hungry for love. It was the neediness in the description that he did not like, although he could not say exactly why. We are all needy, he wanted to say out loud, but he knew what Christine would say.
Some are more so than others.
What about me?
More. More, more, more.
He said nothing and kissed her on the forehead. He trailed his long fingers up her neck and massaged her head with gentle rhythmic motions. She closed her eyes, and he stroked her face and her mouth. He could feel that his touch was arousing her; he heard her breath quickening. Not a lot, but enough to show him that they would not stop. He kissed her on the throat, and she whispered that she wanted to make love to him. Here, on the terrace.
He heard the hum of the cicadas, the loud chirping of the birds, and, from a distance, the neighbors' voices, and wanted to say that someone might see them, shouldn't they go up to his bedroom instead? But she was kissing him so passionately and holding him so tight, showing him how much she desired him, here, now, that he said nothing.
She pulled one of the garden chairs over, pushed him down gently but firmly onto it, and straddled him.
She was wearing a skirt; she did not waste any time. She dictated the rhythm, and was more vigorous and abandoned in loving him than he had ever known her to be. At the end she let out a short cry, loud but not light and full of relief as usual. It was dark and deep, expelled wi
Internationally bestselling author Jan-Philipp Sendker's Whispering Shadows was 'a darkly beautiful, heart-wrenching' journey through Hong Kong's sinister underbelly. The captivating second book in the series plunges us deeper into the dangerous heart of chinese politics.