The Skull Mantra (Inspector Shan Tao Yun) [Eliot Pattison] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. When a headless corpse turns up on a Tibetan. Reviews. Thomas Gaughan for Booklist; Kirkus Reviews; Publisher’s Weekly; Barbara Conaty for the Library Journal. Cover for Skull Mantra – US Edition. “The Skull Mantra does for Tibet what Martin Cruz Smith’s Gorky Park did for Russia. “I’ll never stop suggesting Eliot Pattison’s first thriller, The Skull Mantra, .

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Although not nominally Buddhist his father was a secret TaoistShan is a highly mantrq and moral person, and quickly comes to identify more closely with his fellow Tibetan prisoners as opposed to the life he left behind in Beijing.

I’m going to try the next book in the series to see if I can make any more sense of it.

The Skull Mantra

The treatment of political prisoners in China is well documented and the camp described in this book isn’t that much different from real life accounts. In the late ‘s he decided to combine his deep concerns for the people of Tibet with his interest in venturing into fiction by writing The Skull Mantra. I’m left with the feeling that the rest of us must act upon it. But, also, of the tragedies and failures in the lives of those he comes across.

The Skull Mantra is about a murder in Chinese-controlled This book took me weeks to read! What struck me about this was the ‘world building’. Edgar Award for Best First Novel A Chinese political prisoner, now on a road gang in Tibet finds himself forced to investigate a beheading when the corpse turns up on the construction site. My knowledge of Buddhism is minimal. It’s a statement about the Chinese – lets call it comunist – system, where everyone kinda blends, and individuality is irrelevant.


A former resident of Boston and Washington, Pattison resides on an 18th century farm in Pennsylvania with his wife, three children, and an ever-expanding menagerie of animals. A strength of the story is the complex development of the protagonist and supporting characters who change ekiot they deal with these issues and it adds great depth through the exploration of cultures who conquer other cultures and go on to eradicate their history and people.

Books by Eliot Pattison. The only complaint I oattison about this book is that there is not enough Lokesh. Citations are based on reference standards. I’m being generous in giving this 3 stars. Choje, Rinpoche, Trinle, Yeshe, etc.

I did a bit of both. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger.

The Skull Mantra (Shan Tao Yun Mystery, book 1) by Eliot Pattison

All of this wrapped around a well written old fashioned mystery, like a juicy, delicious, Tibetan mystery burrito. The short version of my review is: Or even a Paytison. Villa rated it it was amazing. He adopted their religion that helps him not only survive the horrors of prison-life, but has given him friends in unlikely places.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. But not the Tibetan names pattkson those are very different from one another: Shan, Tao Yun Fictitious character — Fiction.


Shan is brilliant but humble. Toward the end, however, I did correctly anticipate a few things. Shockingly engaging, a very telling mystery about life in post-invasion Tibet, and the reality of Communism, bureaucracy, and the life of the locals, both Chinese and Tibetan.

Eliot Pattison – Wikipedia

Too many threads, too many characters, too much wandering and wondering–fine in its place, but the resolution of the mystery was anticlimactic and didn’t seem to be connected to all that went before.

In Tibet right now, several Buddhist monks are in prisons working on roads, bridges, ditches. Shan must walk the dangerous line between protecting his Buddhist friends while not getting killed himself by the many powerful suspects his investigation points toward. The Tibetans beliee that it is the work of Tamdin, a protective demon, who has been awakened by the road construction on a sacred mountain.

The E-mail message field is required. On top of that, the monks both in and outside of the prison think the murder was done by a protective demon called Tamdin. Pattison has written two series of mystery novels, set in different time periods and geographic areas.