Death Notice becomes an ensemble piece, with a band of complementary characters that tend toward cardboard, some more corrugated than others, but all a tad flat ... Death Notice suffers somewhat from an irony deficiency. Tone wobbles abound, with romantic flourishes undermining the noir. What blows up big in China may prove to be a damp squib elsewhere — but some readers just may feel footsteps treading upon their own hearts.
Zhou’s story is thoughtfully constructed (and skillfully translated)... This procedural, the first novel in China’s most popular suspense trilogy, boasts the rich cultural immersion, the bird’s-eye view of procedural technique in an international police force, and the complex mysteries that have long driven the popularity of Scandinavian crime fiction.
It’s abundantly clear why author Zhou Haohui is one of the three most popular suspense authors in China: Death Notice literally has it all... Death Notice rewards the careful reader and surprises the most jaded of genre fans.