Berkley, Mar 2009, $14.00
In Ulan Baatar, Mongolia, Judge Radnaa is disturbed with the State Prosecution lawyer, Tsengal who asks for more time in the case against crime chieftain Muunokhoi as some of the evidence proves to befake. The defense attorney Nyamsuren insists his client be let go or the trial starts now. The Judge rules in favor of the accused as the prosecutor should not have brought the case to trial if they were not ready.
Embarrassed by the proceedings, the Minister assigns Nargui, former chief of Serious Crime Team, to conduct an inquiry as to what happened especially who leaked to the defense that some of the evidence was tainted. His personally selected replacement Dosipalam wonders why Nargui is involved. Police detective Tunjin, a thirty year veteran, is placed on suspension with pay pending the investigation as he is the one who planted the evidence. Muunokhoi wants Tunjin dead so he flees with the help of an elderly neighbor from the Mongolian capital. At the same time the investigation into the murder of Mrs. Toya, whose cousin works for the free media, and whose teenage son is missing ties back to the crime king and the judge.
The sequel to THE SHADOW WALKER is a strong police procedural with an exciting internal affairs like investigation, but as before it is the locations in Mongolia of a somewhat westernized Ulan Baatar and the remote Gobi Desert that make this tale stand out. Nargui may have been promoted from the police department, but he remains a superb cop as does his protégé. Part of the fun is their relationship as the more diplomatic Dosipalam egged on buy his wife who detests her spouse’s former boss, wonders why he is back. The Tunjin and Mrs. Toya subplots add depth though the climax seems over the top of the Steppes. Fans will enjoy the second in-depth tour of Mongolia as several cops guide the audience around a country trying to balance the Russians, the Chinese and the West.