The Skull Mantra  - Eliot Pattison Inspector Shan Tao Yun is imprisoned for pissing off his superior in Beijing and is currently in a Tibetan gulag along with a ton of Tibetan monks. When the chain gang road crew discovers a headless body, Shan is forced by the warden to investigate.

The mystery is very convoluted, intricate and extremely difficult to follow. There are many different Tibetan sects and each one is visited so it's hard to keep them straight. Just trying to understand the complex Buddhism elements between the sects and understand why they act as they do was a chore itself.

The conversations with the monks was similar to trying to understand Confusionism. They made statements such as "To know of not knowing is the best." which made me say huh what the heck does that mean. So a lot of the conversations were rather pointless and it wasn't until Shan actually explained his findings to his superior that I finally understood what was going on.

That is not to say that this was a bad book. The investigation was very interesting and Shan was very clever and determined regardless of the military obstacles. I don't believe I'll continue with the series unless of course I need another book set in Tibet.