book cover of The Firemaker
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The Firemaker

(1999)
(The first book in the Yan & Campbell series)
A novel by

 
 
The Firemaker is the first work of fiction to lift the lid on a Pandora's Box of genetic food engineering. It gives a terrifying glimpse of the doomsday scenario that could await if the scientists get it wrong. A chilling thriller set in contemporary Beijing, it resulted from extensive investigations in China where May received unprecedented access to the Chinese police. The Firemaker features Beijing detective Li Yan, and American pathologist, Margaret Campbell, as they track the killer of a government scientist whose corpse is found smouldering in Ritan Park, Beijing.

Campbell is on a six-week lecture trip at the University of Public Security in Beijing. She has fled to China to escape from a broken heart and a shattered life. Li is a newly promoted detective, walking in the footsteps of an uncle who was a near legend in the Beijing police force.

Li's uncle, now retired, prefers to play chess in the park and dispense his wisdom in Chinese riddles, and the young detective is forced reluctantly to turn for help to the experienced Margaret Campbell whose expertise is burn victims.

On the night that the scientist is burned to death, there are two other murders in the city. It soon becomes clear that all three are linked.

From the moment Campbell conducts the autopsy on the government scientist, her future and Li's become as inextricably linked as the murders they are investigating. And as, together, they peel back layer upon layer of obfuscation, the terrible truth they finally uncover sets them on a terrifying course they could never have imagined.

Genre: Mystery

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