Postman Lawrence Shang was watching a film called The Axeman of Shanghai when his life abruptly ended. Carpet trader Edward Peng was enjoying The Last Picture Show. Death in both cases was instantaneous, caused by a small calibre handgun used at a range of two feet.
With their deaths begins a series of apparently motiveless murders in one cinema after another across the Hong Bay district of Hong Kong – and a nightmarish investigation for Harry Feiffer, Detective Chief Inspector, Royal Hong Kong Police Force, and his staff at the Yellowthread Police Station.
The Hatchet Man’s next victim is a sailor off an American ship. Then a German is shot in an auction room. There’s an unaccountable killing on a train near the Chinese border. And the crazy old Mrs Mortimer from the Old People’s Home steps in front of a tram . . . And for Harry Feiffer, time is running out.
Full of real police procedure, suspense and fine irony, but with whole extra dimensions of the surreal and the poignant, the Yellowthread Street novels have no real compare. For those open to their charms, this series is a hidden masterpiece of crime fiction.
Praise for the Yellowthread Street series:
“Marshall has the rare gift of juggling scary suspense and wild humor and making them both work.” Washington Post Book World
“Marshall’s style – blending the hilarious, the surreal, and the poignant – remains inimitable and not easily resisted.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Marshall has few peers as an author who melds the wildest comedy and tragedy in narratives of nonstop action.” Publishers Weekly
“Marshall is building a growing, iconoclastic body of work that mixes weird fantasy [and] wayward characterization . . . to produce a subtle, charged, atmospheric, lush fiction hybrid sure to satisfy those with a taste for mysteries on the far edges.” Philadelphia Inquirer
“Despite the wild humor, Marshall’s stories contain excellent police procedure, real suspense, and fine irony . . . incessantly scary.” Chicago Tribune
“Among the best police procedural series on the market.” Detroit Free Press
“As an inspired poet of the bizarre, [Marshall] orchestrates underlying insanity into an apocalyptic vision of the future.” New York Times Book Review
“Marshall’s novels feature seemingly supernatural events that turn out to have logical, if not precisely rational, origins. He has savage fun with police procedure.” TIME
“Nobody rivals Marshall’s ability to expose the links between comic hysteria and the most mundane human foibles, from greed to cowardice to simple funk.” Kirkus Reviews
“Moves at the speed of a bullet; don’t read it aloud or you’ll run out of breath.” Chicago Sun-Times