I’m on the blog tour for Love And Death In Shanghai by Elizabeth J Hall today. Firstly huge apologies to Anne Cater, the author and publisher for how late this is I’ve been locked out of my blog for most of today.
Love And Death in Shanghai is available in ebook and paperback now, you can purchase a copy of both here.
Shanghai 1924. Sam Shuttleworth joins the Municipal Police to escape his working class roots in Lancashire. He is looking for good pay, adventure and beautiful women.
Shanghai is torn by gang warfare, political instability and violence. After erotic affairs, and seeking stability, he marries his glamorous Russian lover. The relationship is tumultuous, with infidelities on both sides. In the 1930s, Japan invades China and moves into Shanghai with consequent pillage, rape and cruelty. Sam has to negotiate between warring sides, and wonders if he will ever find peace amidst the chaos of his relationships and the bloody events of his career.
Love and Death in Shanghai is a fascinating and in-depth look at life in Shanghai between the first and second world war. I didn’t know much about the history of the country before reading this book and it was quite an eye opener as to what was happening in the city at that time.
Shanghai is definitely a city of two halves. In one side we have the filthy rich and the ex pat’s who are living a glamorous and fun life splashing their cash in some of the upper class clubs available. However on the other side we see the incredible poverty of the place, with the locals struggling to get by and doing anything just to get by. The huge contrast between the two is quite poignant to read about and I definitely felt for the poorer side and how desperately hopeless things seemed.
Sam was an interesting character who has done really well for himself by getting a prize job in the police. He is rightly quite proud of this but comes across as quite arrogant at times especially in the way he deals with people. He is very keen to learn and works hard at his job hoping to improve things in his new town which was lovely to see.
As you can tell by the title there is quite a few love affairs in this book which are quite errotic and graphic at times which might not be to everyone’s taste. Sam’s love affairs with his various women helps to give the reader further insight into the general feeling of the city at that time. It was definitely a fun, free and loose city where everyone is determined to let their hair down. It’s through his affairs with women that we get to know more about Sam, his past and what makes him tick. He shows his softer side here too, showing he can be caring as he wants to try and help some of the poorer ones.
This is the first book by this author I have read and I look forward to reading more from them in the future. If you like thrilling historical fiction about an interesting period of history you’ll enjoy this book.
Huge thanks to Anne Cater and the publisher for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
Elizabeth J.Hall works in politics in the UK. Love and Death in Shanghai, her debut novel was inspired by the life and death of her uncle who worked in the Shanghai Municipal Police in the 1920s and 30s. Elizabeth’s first memory is of her mother crying when she received a telegram reporting his assassination.
Elizabeth lives in East Sussex with her husband. After a degree in French, she trained as a teacher with a particular interest in social and health education. She worked in the USA, West Africa and London before becoming a consultant, developing programmes of health education abroad, including Central Asia and Russia.
Elizabeth’s website is http://www.elizabethjhall.com/
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