Read The Master of Rain by Tom Bradby Adam Mansbach Online


Shanghai, 1926: a sultry city lousy with opium, warlords, and corruption at the highest levels. Into this steamy morass walks Richard Field, an idealistic Brit haunted by his past and recently appointed to the international police. He�s not there long before called to the flat of a Russian prostitute, former daughter of privilege found sadistically murdered, handcuffed tShanghai, 1926: a sultry city lousy with opium, warlords, and corruption at the highest levels. Into this steamy morass walks Richard Field, an idealistic Brit haunted by his past and recently appointed to the international police. He�s not there long before called to the flat of a Russian prostitute, former daughter of privilege found sadistically murdered, handcuffed to her bed. When he discovers among her possessions a cryptic shipping log, he senses that this murder is more than a random crime of perverse passion. What unfolds is a searing story that propels Field into a confrontation with the city�s most ruthless and powerful gangster, and a dangerous attraction to another salacious Russian whose sordid connections seem destined to make her the next victim. Scintillating and subtle, The Master of Rain is a marvelous debut....

Title : The Master of Rain
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780375713330
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 509 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Master of Rain Reviews

  • Sarah
    2019-03-25 22:43

    I did not like this book. I wanted to know what would happen so I kept reading, but I might as well have skipped to the end and put myself out of my misery. The quality of the writing was poor (especially the dialogue) and the storyline disappointing.

  • James
    2019-03-29 16:18

    Very well done. Shanghai in 1926. Murder. Exotica. A great who done it that keeps the reader guessing but also draws beautiful images of life in a hot, affluent, poor, corrupt city before communism takes over China. Well developed characters.

  • Steven Z.
    2019-04-19 16:43

    Set in Shanghai in 1926, Tom Bradby’s first novel published in the United States begins with the murder of a Russian girl in her apartment. The murder is a brutal one and the investigation that follows lures the reader into the seamier side of Shanghai at a time when China is splintered between the Guomindang, under the leadership of Chang Kai-Shek; the emerging Chinese Communist Party led by Mao Zedong; and the various European interests that date back to the unequal treaties of the 19th century. THE MASTER OF RAIN, a title chosen for its relationship to a Chinese legend is a suspenseful novel that contains countless twists and turns that continue to the last page of the epilogue. The story centers on Richard Field who left Scotland to join the International Settlement police force in Shanghai. Field is an idealist who will soon learn the cruelties and corruption that make up daily life in the city. Field will investigate the murder of Lena Orlov and will be drawn into a situation that he could never have fathomed when he arrived in China. As the plot unfolds the reader is given an accurate portrayal of the political and economic situation in China in the mid-1920s. The undercurrent of the civil war between the Guomindang and the Chinese Communist Party is ever present. Historical figures such as Michael Borodin, Chiang Kai-Shek, and Mao Zedong make cameo appearances to lend authenticity to the story. The underworld of Shanghai is controlled by Lu Huang, a Chinese version of Al Capone in association with various westerners. Lu possesses people as if they were objects, and controls the opium trade in conjunction with western elements, and all aspects of the city’s governing body including the police through graft and murder.There are a number of interesting relationships that are developed throughout the novel. Field falls in love with one of Lu’s “possessions,” another Russian girl, Natasha Medvedev and the reader follows the ebb and flow of their interactions. Caprisi, a detective who works with Field, who arrived in China from Chicago, forms an interesting partnership with Field as he tries to protect him from himself and deal with his own demons. Throughout the story Field tries to maintain his idealism, but when confronted by the drug trade, prostitution, and political corruption, he has to finally make his own deal with the devil as the book comes to a close. The cast of colorful characters is well developed as the plot line keeps shifting and at times the reader is not sure where the story is leading. After following the social and political undercurrent described in THE MASTER OF RAIN it is not surprising that following World War II, China would be taken over by the Communist Party. The period Bradby writes about reflects how little westerners valued the lives of the Chinese people and how they were exploited for over a century.

  • Tim
    2019-04-21 21:33

    Bradby seems to have all the ingredients necessary to make this mid-'20s Shanghai noir crime tale tasty as hell. Somehow though, he's cooked 'er too slow or something and the flavors have turned out blah instead of bright. "Master of Rain" is rightly presented as a sort of Raymond Chandler yarn set in China, but after a promising beginning this story of a Russian prostitute's murder and the investigations of the various agencies in the international zone of wide-open Shanghai slows to a crawl. It's a shame. For a while I was convinced this was a real winner here. Bradby has an American and a newcomer Englishman from different agencies paired together in probing a powerful Chinese crime lord's connection to the woman's death. The research rings true, Shanghai feels wild and pulled in all directions by this mix of nations and people, and the ancient/modern dichotomy is atmospheric. There are officials who may be in the crime lord's pocket, lawmen at cross purposes, stifling wet heat, a gorgeous Russian babe — friend of the murdered woman — who makes our Englishman all woozy. But Bradby's reluctance to get on with things soon enough ultimately is crippling. Finishing a short chapter, you might wonder: Just how did that advance the story? "Master of Rain" certainly is a decent effort (2.5 stars) with some good writing and atmosphere, but at 500-plus pages it's a good 100 too many.

  • Juliana Philippa
    2019-04-14 19:40

    Great detective novel set in 1920s Shanghai with twists and turns (who can the main character, Richard Field, really trust? which of his fellow officers are on the take?) and a little romance. Highly recommend if you're looking for a pleasurable read!

  • Josh
    2019-03-31 16:17

    I'm not done with this book: I started it over 1 year ago, and was sort of bored, so I put it down. I haven't picked it up since and may never pick it up again. But I'm telling myself I might since I love detective stories, and the time period interested me as well.

  • John Porter
    2019-04-18 17:44

    Put it this way...I had to go back and search for the title of this book less than 60 days after reading it. It's not that it doesn't try to be memorable; it tries too hard. And it's a weird amalgam of Historical Novel/CSI episode/Good cop, Bad cop story that really didn't work for me.

  • Jo McCarthy
    2019-04-23 19:36

    I think it took a while to get there. It felt sometimes as if the setting was wrong (1920's). Not awful and a pleasant enough read but somehow it just didn't grab me and go "wow". I think because the story became laboured.

  • Pj Mensel
    2019-04-07 16:27

    Good historical fiction and mystery. Noty as good as The White Russian though.

  • Pam
    2019-04-20 23:40

    Not well written. Supposedly set in 1926, yet there is no way to tell that by description, setting, characters, or conversation. The word kinky got its modern usage in 1959, yet a character says it here in a modern way. I gave up during a fight scene between the cops, I had to read it 3 or 4 times, and I never could figure out why they were mad at each other. Just too jarring. Nope.

  • S. Lynham
    2019-03-29 16:41

    Set in the International Settlement and French Concession of Shanghai in 1926, a very exotic place filled with all kinds of unusual people including masses of White Russian refugees, many of them beautiful women who went from being wealthy "little princesses" to world-weary prostitutes that no one, including the police, cares about in the least. Enter wide-eyed novice cop, Richard Field, seconded to the police at his request from Britain, seemingly to escape a place where everyone knew his father had committed suicide because he bankrupted his company built on his wife's money, thereby leaving the family destitute. But Richard has an uncle there, his mother's brother, who is a big wheel and who seems willing to give Field an entree into a very different world.A White Russian girl, dressed in lacy underclothing, violently stabbed, is Field's first case. He is outraged and wants to find the killer but everyone he works with want him to just settle down and "go with the flow". Corruption and greed are everywhere. Someone within the department is actively impeding the investigation so Field strikes out on his own to find the killer, learning that this wasn't the first, nor will it be the last of these killings.The writing was a bit choppy and I felt that Field's background should have come out somewhat earlier and a lot more clearly as it affected Field in a number of ways...knowing a bit more would have helped in understanding why he did some things in a certain way.I also just never saw the ending coming and that is something I always like in a book.

  • Ed Mestre
    2019-04-02 17:27

    “Master of Rain” has a lot going for it. A well told noir detective story with the added spin of being set in 1920’s Shanghai. That alone provides another thick coating of noir lacquer on all characters who enter this world. International powers have sliced up the Shanghai pie & all those expats from those nations & white Russian refugees of the Revolution have gathered there to forget, but never really can. Corruption oozes from every pore & the poor huddle in every door. Life is cheap & there are those who enjoy making it cheaper.When I was in Shanghai in 2004, I saw the new city rising with ultra modern skyscrapers everywhere with the joke that the national bird was the construction crane. But in the shadows of these buildings was the old Shanghai. Hot & steamy with remnants of those pie slices. Paris like tree lined boulevards of the French concession & the buildings on the Bund looking like London along the Thames. All that set my imagination going to the past where Shanghai had morphed into a synonymous verb for kidnapping. “Master of Rain” brings that bygone era vividly to life & death. For good measure there’s even a hint of Great Gatsby 1920’s hedonism. The one fault I find is it was too long, mainly because it kept xeroxing some scenes where that emotion, passion, anguish, & fear had already been well established. The department of redundancy department. But I turned those extra pages, like all the others, because, ultimately, that’s what this book was, a page turner.

  • Alison Hardtmann
    2019-03-25 19:33

    I started The Master of Rain by Tom Bradby a few weeks ago expecting a good noir-style mystery set in an exotic place. I got so much more. The Master of Rain does read like it could be filmed in black and white; it's filled with men in suits wearing fedoras and smoking, there's a beautiful woman with secrets and a hero feeling his way through treachery and intrigue, but at heart it's a dense historic novel.It took me only a few pages in to realize how very little I knew about Shanghai in the 1920s. It was a big Chinese city, but at the centre lay an area controlled by American and British Commercial interests, called the International Settlement, bordered on one side by the French Settlement and surrounded by a China in turmoil as Mao's forces destabilize the country and leave plenty of room for criminal forces to take control of the Chinese parts of Shanghai. The city is also flooded with Russian refugees in the wake of the Russian Revolution.Into this comes Field, a Yorkshireman hired as a policeman and assigned to the special forces, that is, to the political branch of the police. Immediately, he is called out, with an American cop, to the scene of a murder; a Russian woman found brutally slain in an apartment block owned by the Chinese mob boss who controls much of the city. And so begins a fast-paced and complex story that swings from the upper echelons of expat society to the desperate world of emigre Russians trying to survive in a hostile city.

  • Badly Drawn Girl
    2019-03-31 23:20

    This book has been laying around my house for years. Every once in awhile I'd pick it up, start reading it, and then I'd find myself reading a different book all together while The Master of Rain continued to gather dust. But I have found that a book that doesn't capture my interest one month becomes interesting the next month. My taste seems to rely heavily on my mood and what is going on in my life. So books like The Master of Rain often get a 3rd and 4th chance because I believe it's a book I have the potential to like. Sometimes I'm wrong. I didn't hate this book. It was just a bit of a disappointment. It had all the ingredients necessary for a hard boiled crime novel but they just didn't come together in a satisfying way. I felt no empathy for the main character. I couldn't rally behind him which left me watching his actions from a distance. I never lost myself in the book. I can't pinpoint what the problem is exactly, it's a well written book, the story itself has potential but it's unsatisfying.

  • Jessica
    2019-04-15 21:32

    This is a very good noir set in 1926 Shanghai. Richard Field is a newly arrived investigator from Yorkshire, struggling to adjust to the steam heat and teeming corruption of his new city, while navigating the high-stakes internal politics of the international police service. When a Russian call-girl is found brutally murdered, Field meets her neighbor, another Russian emigre, and is smitten. While Natasha is beautiful and seductive, she is also dangerous -- she is part of a local gangster's coterie of beautiful women -- and may herself be in danger as the crime appears to be part of a series.Lots of intrigue, great settings, and a wonderful sense of the time and history.

  • AnonymousReaderPerson
    2019-04-03 17:17

    It's a good blend of mystery and organized crime drama. Maybe it's just the setting that makes it more palatable, since you don't see many novels that take place in Shanghai in the early part of the century. If the author manages to pull off time and setting convincingly (and I think Bradby does), that's worth at lease one or two stars in my book.The story itself isn't too original. You could set it in modern day NYC, London, Tokyo, or even BFE, USA, just switch around a few other components and it might be unrecognizable. And Field is pretty cliched as a lead, though I did end up rooting for him pretty hard.

  • Dave Fellows
    2019-04-10 20:27

    3.5/5 stars. Started strong but the lack of any development over about 300 pages started to grind, and as such it took me a lot longer to read this book than most others. A lot of people knew the answers but were just too stubborn to share. There was a lot of "Tell me", "No", "Tell me now", "I cannot", "You must", "I cannot". However, the story was strong and engaging enough had it been a couple of hundred pages shorter. I just wish I hadn't seen the biggest plot twist coming since the halfway point.

  • Evan Thomas
    2019-04-20 00:40

    Absolutely the worst of a risky genre. This book is almost a parody of historical mystery/thrillers. Breathless description is wrapped in a chocking embrace of cliche: crazy WWI veterans; honest Scots; faithful Chinese, etc. If there is an overused image of colonial China it's in here. The glancing references to historical events are so removed from the tired and predictable plot as to indicate the author took Wikipedia for a quick spin.

  • Monica
    2019-04-14 20:25

    Quick read. Policier noir set in the Shanghai of the 20's. Interesting historically speaking and while the killer does not come as a big surprise at the end, it still manages to make you say..."Oh". Otherwise...the well known and oldest clichee in the world: the detective falling for the femme fatale, who is actually a good looking prostitute to be honest...and the hero he becomes for her in order to save her from the misery of her life. Duhhh....

  • Kay
    2019-03-23 22:22

    A little cliché in its selection of characters from 1920's Shanghai but not a bad read in itself. I quite like historical fiction and detective novels and whilst a little grisly in a few spots it was not a slow laborious read. Bradby has taken good enough care to write believable characters and the setting is of course all part of the charm for me :)

  • Cheryl
    2019-03-26 22:38

    I'd forgotten about this one until, with some time on my hands, I went browsing through goodreads and caught CW Gortner's review. Thanks for the reminder - I really liked this and want to read more Bradby!

  • Conan
    2019-04-08 23:26

    I really liked this book and it was really engaging. I couldn't predict what would happen but, it had a nice ending with Field. I'm shocked to see that he was just a newbie at Shanghai but, out of all of the law enforcers, he was the only one to be able to strike a deal with Lu.

  • Aust*
    2019-04-08 19:43

    It's a murder story, but it's not the clever detective work that wins my heart. The political tension among the great powers and the collision of Chinese and Western culture during that time in Beijing are what make this book unforgettable.

  • Robert
    2019-04-08 17:26

    I enjoyed this book although I did get annoyed with the occasional grammatical/spelling error or when the historical aspects didn't gel with what I had read about Shanghai in the 1920's - especially the communist threat. Nonetheless still a good read.

  • Duane Bowker
    2019-04-19 20:22

    Murder mystery set in Shanghai, 1926. It's a good one with lots of twists and turns. It's full of opium smugglers, prostitutes, tough cops and gangsters (all carrying Thompson machine guns), lots of sex and violence. Definitely for "adults only".

  • Tosh
    2019-03-27 00:34

    Great, poignant historical, thriller/murder mystery with true love and of another era in an exotic place (Shanghai, China in the 20's). Amazing descriptions of China and Shanghai and wonderful character development.

  • Rose
    2019-04-17 19:24

    F Bra

  • Peter
    2019-04-22 17:23

    great book full of all the things a good book should have all great characters a great plot and a marvelous location,shanghai 1926.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-15 22:24

    Some great, deep writing. I was enjoying it very much but it became too crass. Excessive sex and inappropriate matter.

  • Dorel
    2019-03-31 00:27

    It is about Shangi in the 1920s. I read the first 150 pages. They were kind of slow. Then I read the last 150 and it was very exciting. I didn't miss the middle.