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The Shadows of Shigatse
D.L. Kung
This is Part III of the Handover Mysteries in which American journalist Claire Raymond is caught in the undertow of China's emergence to regional dominance at the turn of the 20th century.

Vol I The Wardens of Punyu:
Claire Raymond's naive new Business World colleague disappears without trace across the Hong Kong-China border on assignment in one of the mainland's "special economic zones." Claire's futile search to rescue him leads her through the free-for-all landscape of Guangdong's coastal export boom into the murky use of Communist prison labor camps to feed its illegal organ transplant trade. Only more years to go before Beijing reclaims control of the British colony and already China's transition to power reveals its dark, lawless side. And Claire's career may be reaching a crossroad now that she has met the dashing Swiss UN delegate on assignment from Geneva to set up operations based in Hong Kong.

Vol II The End of May Road (previously published as Left in the Care Of: Claire finds herself uncomfortably sidelined at home on maternity leave. A neighbor's son, Petey, is found dead along the Midlevels district’s May Road during Christmas week only six months before the official handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China. A neurotic uncertainty pervades the colonial middle-class and mixes with a mounting religious hysteria among the mistreated Filipina housekeepers who slave for Chinese and western households.

Claire fears for the safety of her own newborn, Caspar. The visit to Hong Kong of Xavier's ex-lover Fabienne adds to her tensions as she investigates Petey's suspicious death.

Vol III The Shadows of Shigatse:
China now has the upper hand and in the wake of 9/11, even enjoys an anti-terrorist alliance with the U.S. Swiss UN worker Xavier Vonalp takes his wife, the journalist Claire Raymond to Tibet on his quest to locate an informer in his medical training project betraying Tibetans fleeing to Nepal. Pinpointing which of four suspects might be the deadly turncoat is hard enough, but on the eve of their departure from Hong Kong, Claire's ex-lover Jim returns from the ether to beg a sensitive and secret favor.
Jim's father ran Khampa agents in a secret CIA campaign against the Communist army incursion during the 50's and 60's. His plane crashed in the Himalayas but no body was ever found at the site. Against her better judgment, Claire pursues this mystery behind Xavier's back while in Lhasa. Before she knows it, she's smuggling a fugitive Tibetan freedom fighter to safety from Jim's deadly "discipline," and at the same time fighting to help Xavier, trapped by the informer on espionage charges, escape a ten-year sentence in Chinese prison. In a moving culmination to The Handover trilogy, Claire locates Jim's father—a symbolic finale to the end of American influence for and against the now-confident Beijing regime.
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