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Summary

Three corpses: drugged, labeled and brutally beheaded; a trail that Detective Li Yan has to follow. He and forensic pathologist Margaret Campbell have been trying to deny the attraction that nearly destroyed both their careers. But when a fourth victim is found, they have no choice but to work together to track down the truth and to hunt down a ruthless killer. 

The Fourth Sacrifice is the second in the acclaimed China series from Peter May, author of Runaway, Entry Island and the internationally best-selling Lewis Trilogy.

©2000 Peter May (P)2015 WF Howes

Critic reviews

"Peter May is an author I'd follow to the ends of the earth." (New York Times)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    444
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    259
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    55
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    7
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    3

Performance

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    22
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    7
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Liked it, but found it a little far fetched.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Fourth Sacrifice to be better than the print version?

As usual, impeccably read by Peter Forbes, which I feel must make the audio version of this book better than the print version.

What about Peter Forbes’s performance did you like?

He just makes a perfect job, every time. Voices, pronunciation, all flawless.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Most of Peter May's book bring a tear to my eye from time to time.

Any additional comments?

Loved the story and the presentation, but found the clues a little heavy handed, by Peter May's standards, so much so that I thought there might even be a huge double bluff. I also found the conclusion a bit far fetched. You always have to be prepared to suspend disbelief with Peter May, but with the Fourth Sacrifice, I thought I had to do this more than usual.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Roderic
  • Victoria Park, Australia
  • 09-10-15

Not good enough to continue

The central "twist" in this book was obvious from very early on, and the set-up was quite clumsy. After two books in the China series, the central characters show no promise of fleshing out to any enjoyable extent.

I very much enjoyed Peter May's Outer Hebrides series but this China series is seriously lacking in interest on most levels.

I am a sucker for a book series, but for the first time I will not be reading one to its conclusion. I am stopping the China series right here.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Developing romance but storyline Too predictable

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not really. Although the narration is very good unfortunately the storyline in this second book in the series is not as good as in the first book.

What could Peter May have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

He could have put in more twists and turns.

Have you listened to any of Peter Forbes’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes, I have listened to the Lewis Trilogy books which were absolutely fantastic. Because they are based in Scotland his accent was perfect. For the China series although he is a good narrator the effect is not quite the same as in the Lewis Trilogy.

Could you see The Fourth Sacrifice being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

No not really unless the TV channel was allowed to make it a bit more complex or RomantiC.

Any additional comments?

I will listen to the third in the series and hopefully the plot will be a bit more developed.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Salter
  • Herefordshire, UK
  • 18-01-18

Enjoyable....

Its not as good as the Hebrides based adventures, but nevertheless a good listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Builds on the previous book. The author certainly paints a convincing picture of modern China

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Women hold up half the sky. Mao Zedong

Again a fascinating look at China its history and culture, within the parameters of a very entertaining thriller that delivers one more time.

Margaret has not left Beijing, she stayed behind to help with the last case, then a chinese american is murdered and she is requested by the american embassy to help in the investigation. Exposing her to the Terracotta Army, and the consequences of the Chinese Cultural Revolution that took place from 1966 until 1976. Where millions of people were persecuted, tortured, and suffered a wide range of abuses including public humiliation, arbitrary imprisonment, sustained harassment, and seizure of property. Just to preserve 'true' Communist ideology. The madness finally ended and In 1981, the Communist party recognized that the Cultural Revolution was "responsible for the most severe setback and the heaviest losses suffered by the Party, the country, and the people since the founding of the People's Republic."
From this past the present crimes of the story grow in unexpected ways, and twist in surprising directions, for Margaret and Detective Li Yan.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed this

Liked this for the same reasons as the first book in the trilogy. Plenty of interesting information about Beijing.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another good Peter May book

Excellent story line and didn't expect the twist. I've now ordered the other Chinese thrillers.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another twisting and turning plot

Continuing the development of his central characters Peter May has taken me again to the streets of Beijing and back in time to the Cultural Revolution.
Masterful storytelling that I couldn't put down.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Second story a bit of a let down

I was looking forward to reading the next novel but was a bit disappointed with the way the story kept using the relationship between the main characters - in my opinion it detracted from the story itself. The narration was again superb. It's a "must" read though if you want to read them all.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful