It seems an oasis of calm, a western city in China, where the champagne flows and men make fortunes while enjoying themselves in cabarets and brothels; a cosmopolitan playground for the rich and famous. But below the surface, gangs control the streets. Prostitution, drugs, gambling - these are the pursuits of poor and wealthy alike.
This is Shanghai, the city where life is cheap, death is commonplace, and the law doesn't apply. To millionaires and politicians it is a welcome staging-post; to others, it is a city founded on sin and corruption. Many come to make money, by any means. To Detective Rod Cottey of the Shanghai Municipal Police, Shanghai provides an escape from the hideous mechanised warfare of the Western Front. Yet even here his demons pursue him.
Called to investigate the murder of a rich banker's chauffeur, Rod is soon thrust into the world of arms-dealers, drugs and prostitutes. Above all, he learns that Shanghai is built on secrets. And secrets can be dangerous - even deadly. As he discovers more about the killing of the chauffeur, he begins to discover just how deadly information can be ...
In a city where money rules everyone and everything, in a tiny enclave filled with Russian exiles and Chinese revolutionaries, one policeman tries to find justice and the truth.
"Slickly written, authentic-feeling and enormous fun. A highly recommended and gripping historical detective yarn!"
"Shanghai is one of the world's most atmospheric cities and its intriguing history comes alive in Michael Jecks' One Last Dance ... a twisty thriller set in the aftermath of the First World War"
"Pacy, atmospheric and steeped in intrigue, this is a thriller that truly thrills."
"brings 1920s Shanghai alive: the teeming streets, the dodgy businessmen, the shady establishments, the drink, the women, the drugs and the murders. Rod Cottey is an intriguing detective with convincing demons to deal with and a pleasing determination to get his man. More please."
"a muscular historical thriller with credible action, strong characters, lively plotting and ... finely drawn setting."
One Last Dance Before I Die is the first in Michael Jecks's new 'Shanghailanders' series. It was published by Pink Rickord Publishing in December 2023. It is available: