The Shanghai Union of Industrial Mystics (4 stars)

Nury Vittachi

The Shanghai Union of Industrial Mystics (Polygon)


CF Wong is having a bad day. The office he shares with his Australian assistant Joyce is about to be demolished by property developers, and he also seems to be on a collision course with some vegan terrorists who have recently invaded his home city of Shanghai. The fifth instalment of Asian writer and journalist Nury Vittachi’s Feng Shui Detective series is as scurrilous and readable as ever.

His penchant for freeze framing the plot while he pencils in a cross hatch of cultural anomalies is one that owes more to the novels of Douglas Adams and Simon Louvish than the more obviously comparable Alexander McCall Smith. Vittachi rips into the paradoxes that pervade life in the largest city of the People’s Republic of China with a glee of the libellous gossip columnist he once was. Delicious stuff.

(Paul Dale)

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