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Bone Mountain

Posted on Friday, February 11, 2011 in Books, Mystery/Cop, Reviews

When I first came across Eliot Pattison’s mysteries set in Tibet, I was thrilled. Tibetan culture is something I’ve been interested in for years, in fact ever since I first read Tintin in Tibet. My love for Tibet only increased when I discovered Tibetan dogs (but that’s another story.)

Like the two earlier books in the series, Bone Mountain was fascinating, but sad. Parts of it read like a fantasy because of the incredibly interesting and unique culture and lifestyle of (some of) the Tibetans. Pattison’s ‘sleuth’ Han Chinese Shan, first came to Tibet when he was deported to a gulag. He survived the harsh conditions in the camp by embracing Tibetan religion and culture (the two are completely interwoven, so it’s hard, if not impossible to separate the two).

Bone Mountain deals with the desctruction of Tibet’s nature, by the Chinese occupation force. Reading about it almost made me cry. The ‘hero’ of the book is really Tibetan culture, in many ways illustrated by the characters. They’re all unique, fascinating and mostly sympathetic. It’s obvious that Pattison has come to care about his Tibetan friends and their culture, that, like the country it originated, is threatened by extinction.

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