The search for a missing girl sends Inspector Lu Fei undercover into the wild corners of Myanmar, and the compound of the deadly and mysterious woman warlord responsible for the illegal trafficking of exotic animals and possibly more.
Police Inspector Lu Fei has an unfortunate talent for getting himself into hot water with powerful and well-connected people. Which is why he’s been assigned to a backwater town in a rural area of Northern China and quietly warned to keep his head down. But while running a sting operation on the sale and consumption of rare and endangered animals, Lu comes across the curious case of a waitress who has gone missing. Her last known whereabouts: a restaurant frequented by local elites, owned by smooth-talking gangster, and known for its exotic — and highly illegal — delicacies.
As usual, Lu’s investigation ruffles some feathers, resulting in his suspension from the police force. Lu figures he’s reached a dead-end. Then he’s contacted by a mysterious government official in Beijing who wants him to go undercover to track down the mastermind behind an illegal animal trafficking network — and hopefully, the answer to the fate of the missing waitress. The mission will require Lu to travel deep into the lawless wilds of Myanmar, where he will risk his life to infiltrate the hidden compound of a mysterious and ruthless female warlord in a bloody and nearly hopeless quest for justice.
Wild Prey is the second Inspector Lu Fei mysteries novel. I reviewed Thief of Souls, the first novel, yesterday. In case the series needed to be read together or sequentially, I made sure to read them back-to-back. This also made it simple to compare them, both fresh in my mind. I do want to mention that the two books can be read separately.
Inspector Lu Fei is lives in a rural village in northern China, but in this police procedural Lu journeys through southern China and into Myanmar in order to locate a missing woman.
Wild Prey has a strong, more intricate plot than its predecessor. I thought it had more depth and intrigue. I knew the twist at the end, but otherwise, there was a bunch of twists that caught me by surprise.
I still learned quite a bit about China, in different areas than the first book. I liked that Wild Prey covered subjects both similar and separate from Thief of Souls.
Because I read both books so close together, it is difficult for me to distinguish the character development in one versus the other. The new characters that were introduced in Wild Prey were well-developed and easy to grasp. My only disappointment as far as characters were concerned was Inspector Lu. I thought his actions towards his love interest to be thirsty and pushy, not in a good way. I do not know a lot about gender dynamics in China, so I cannot really judge the accuracy. I can only say that it took my opinion of the character down a notch.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Wild Prey and found that it improved upon Thief of Souls, as I predicted. I recommend these books if you are looking for a police procedural that is a bit different.
May 17, 2022
Note: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher, Minotaur Books. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.