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Showing posts by: Eliot Pattison click to see Eliot Pattison's profile
Mar 14 2017 1:00pm

Skeleton God as a Movie

Read Eliot Pattison's exclusive guest post about the illuminating process of adapting one of his novels for film, and then make sure to sign in and comment below for a chance to win a copy of the 9th Inspector Shan Tao Yun novel, Skeleton God!

Great pleasures always await me when I commence the year-long process of creating a new Inspector Shan story. The amazing melange of history, politics, culture, and religion in Shan’s world offer many rich ingredients to stir together for a new take on his life. Even when I finish one of his tales, those complex elements still elicit a surprising range of reactions and interpretations from readers.

A few years ago, two friends each offered suggestions for scripting a movie based on one of my novels. When I saw how remarkably different their approaches were, I began to realize that extrapolating my books into movie projects could be an enlightening exercise that might help me understand how various elements resonate differently with different observers. I was reminded of Martin Scorsese’s observation that “Movies touch our hearts and awaken our vision, and change the way we see things.” A good movie, like a good novel, should be truer than life itself—but it can awaken many personal versions of such truths. 

[Who would you cast in an Inspector Shan movie?]

Mar 7 2017 3:00pm

Q&A with Eliot Pattison, Author of Skeleton God

Eliot Pattison is an American international lawyer and award-winning author. His first book in the Inspector Shan Tao Yun series, The Skull Mantra, won the 2000 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. His latest, Skeleton God (available March 14, 2017), is the ninth Inspector Shan mystery.

Recently, Mr. Pattison took time out of his busy schedule to answer some of CrimeHQ's questions about his legal background, his writing influences, and his latest Inspector Shan novel!

[Read the full Q&A below!]

Mar 6 2017 10:00am

Skeleton God: New Excerpt

Eliot Pattison

Skeleton God by Eliot Pattison is the 9th book in the Inspector Shan Tao Yun series (available March 14, 2017).

Shan Tao Yun, now the reluctant constable of a remote Tibetan town, has learned to expect the impossible at the roof of the world, but nothing has prepared him for his discovery when he investigates a report that a nun has been savagely assaulted by ghosts. In an ancient tomb by the old nun lies a gilded saint buried centuries earlier, flanked by the remains of a Chinese soldier killed fifty years before and an American man murdered only hours earlier. Shan is thrust into a maelstrom of intrigue and contradiction.

The Tibetans are terrified, the notorious Public Security Bureau wants nothing to do with the murders, and the army seems determined to just bury the dead again and Shan with them. No one wants to pursue the truth–except Shan, who finds himself in a violent collision between a heartbreaking, clandestine effort to reunite refugees from Tibet separated for decades and a covert corruption investigation that reaches to the top levels of the government in Beijing, China. The terrible secret Shan uncovers changes his town and his life forever.

[Read an excerpt from Skeleton God...]

Nov 25 2014 11:00am

Soul of the Fire: New Excerpt

Eliot Pattison

Soul of the Fire by Eliot Pattison is the 8th mystery featuring Inspector Shan Tau Yun where the former Beijing government investigator turns up in Tibet (available November 25, 2014).

When Shan Tao Yun and his old friend Lokesh are abruptly dragged away by Public Security, he is convinced that their secret, often illegal, support of struggling Tibetans has brought their final ruin. But his fear turns to confusion as he discovers he has been chosen to fill a vacancy on a special international commission investigating Tibetan suicides. Soon he finds that his predecessor was murdered, and when a monk sets himself on fire in front of the commissioners he realizes that the Commission is being used as a tool to whitewash Tibet’s self-immolation protests as acts of crime and terrorism. Shan faces an impossible dilemma when the Public Security officer who runs the Commission, Major Ren, orders the imprisoned Lokesh beaten to coerce Shan into following Beijing’s script for the Commission. He has no choice but to become part of the hated machine that is devouring Tibet, but when he discovers that the most recent immolation was actually another murder, he realizes the Commission itself is riddled with crime and intrigue.

Chapter 1

The tear on the young nun’s cheek dripped onto the rosary in her hand. As she turned her brave, open face toward Shan Tao Yun, a shaft of sunlight burst through the port in the side of the prison wagon where they huddled, illuminating the tear like a diamond. Once, precious stones had been prized in their land for the adornment of altars and reliquaries. As Shan stared at the rosary, he realized that such tears were the new jewels of Tibet.

[Continue reading Soul of the Fire by Eliot Pattison...]

Nov 24 2012 12:00pm

Mandarin Gate: New Excerpt

Eliot Pattison

Eliot Pattison: Mandarin GateMandarin Gate by Eliot Pattison is the seventh in the Inspector Shan Tao Yun mystery series (available November 27, 2012).

In an earlier time, Shan Tao Yun was an Inspector stationed in Beijing, but he lost his position, his family and his freedom when he ran afoul of a powerful figure high in the Chinese government. Released unofficially from the work camp to which hed been sentenced, Shan has been living in remote mountains of Tibet with a group of outlaw Buddhist monks. Without status, official identity, or the freedom to return to his former home in Beijing, Shan has just begun to settle into his menial job as an inspector of irrigation and sewer ditches in a remote Tibetan township when he encounters a wrenching crime scene. Strewn across the grounds of an old Buddhist temple undergoing restoration are the bodies of two unidentified men and a Tibetan nun. Shan quickly realizes that the murders pose a riddle the Chinese police might in fact be trying to cover up. When he discovers that a nearby village has been converted into a new internment camp for Tibetan dissidents arrested in Beijing’s latest pacification campaign, Shan recognizes the dangerous landscape he has entered. To find justice for the victims and to protect an American woman who witnessed the murders, Shan must navigate through the treacherous worlds of the internment camp, the local criminal gang, and the government’s rabid pacification teams, while coping with his growing doubts about his own identity and role in Tibet.

Chapter 1

The end of time was starting in Tibet. Shan Tao Yun’s old friend Lokesh had told him so repeatedly in recent months, reminding him just the day before as he had pointed a crooked finger toward an un­natural cloud lurking on the horizon. More than once during the past year Shan had listened, chilled, to Lokesh and their lama friends solemnly recount the ancient prophecy. Humans had been given their chance and had failed, had let their civilization become more about inhumanity than humanity. They  were spiraling downward, biding their time until a more intelligent, compassionate species arose. The evidence was everywhere in Tibet, and it seemed perfectly logical to the lamas that the process was starting there, at the top of the world, the land closest to the homes of the deities.

Now, as he watched Lokesh clearing an old pilgrim path, mur­muring prayerful apologies to the insects he disturbed, Shan realized he cherished the old Tibetans not just for their gentle wisdom but for the joy they showed despite the approaching clouds.

“Jamyang frolics with a goat!” Lokesh suddenly called out.

Shan saw that his friend had paused and was cocking his head toward the opposite slope. He looked across the small, high valley in confusion, making out now a running figure clad in the maroon robe of a monk. He glanced in alarm toward the road in the larger, main valley beyond. Only an hour before they had seen a police patrol. Jamyang was an unregistered monk, an outlaw monk, and it was reckless of him to show himself so close to a public road.

“He’ll be late for his own festival,” Lokesh declared with a grin, reminding Shan that the lama had asked them to join him in an hour for a meal at the little shrine by the remote hut he called home. The rest of the day was to be devoted to celebration of Jamyang’s resto­ration of the shrine.

Shan stepped to his truck, pulled his battered binoculars from the dashboard and focused them on the opposite slope. “Not a goat,” he reported a moment later. “He’s chasing a man.” The figure in front struggled to balance a sack and a long object across his shoulders, running with a bent, uneven gait.

[Read the full excerpt of Mandarin Gate by Eliot Pattison]