“Silent Reading” by Priest

Mo Du / Silent Reading is my favorite book by Priest (so far). It was also my first crime fiction danmei and I been hooked to this genre since.

At 180 chapters, it is quite a long one to read , but what adds to its length is the heaviness that each case holds. With every passing chapter, the tension rises and the readers need to pay attention to all the threads being spun because the ending is too complex, even though you get the feeling, no question remains.

Childhood, upbringing, family background, social relations, traumatic experiences…

We keep reviewing and seeking out the motives of criminals, exploring the subtlest emotions driving them. It’s not to put ourselves in their shoes and sympathize, or even forgive them; it’s not to find some reasons to exculpate their crimes; it’s not to kneel down before the so-called “complexity of human nature”; nor to introspect social conflicts, much less to alienate ourselves into monsters.

We just want to have a fair trial – for ourselves and for those who still have hope for the world.

Luo Wenzhou had been helping & perhaps even liking Fei Du since he first met him, when he was assigned to the case of Fei Du’s mother’s suicide. He has watched the teenage boy grow by age , in business , in his luxurious lifestyle and then gets to see his real mind at work , when they meet again for some bizarre cases happening in the city.

The story keeps setting them against each other and also making them work together, be it unwillingly. But in this bickering & cat -mouse game lies the true appreciation and love for each other. It was so satisfying to see their personal relationship grow into domestic bliss, be it slow burn and frustrating as a reader. Their relationship with the rest of the characters is also explored well in the story and my second favorite interactions were between Wenzhou and the “princess” of his team. As a team leader, he was so caring, responsible and daring to protect all around him. Wenzhou’s family dynamics were sweet and some of his cat scenes are super cute.

As a psychological thriller, Priest created an intricate web of characters, motives , means, and the chase till the very end. The ending either would feel too entangled or a bit underwhelming, considering how soon you figure the main culprit, but for me it was mind-blowing till the last page. Part 5 of the book was when everything comes to the last act, and that part is weaker than the rest for sure. But this book definitely comes in the list of the stories that one would re read to see what you missed in the first time.

The book needs a few trigger warnings, which the translator, E. Danglars has mentioned before the start of the story. It is an exceptionally well-done translation and is available as an ebook on the site.

If you are interested , you can check my reading thread on this novel here –

This story has been picked for live adaptation into a crime drama Light the Darkness (previous name)/ Abyss with Zhang Xincheng as Fei Du, the nouveau riche with low morals who is found to be involved with serial murder cases in the most unexpected ways. Fu Xinbo costars as police inspector Luo Wenzhou, while Chen Zhuoxuan plays detective Lang Qiao. This drama will be produced by YOUKU , and I hope none of the new changes in the Chinese entertainment industry impacts this one to come out because the crime part of the story will make for a great plot.

Earlier there were two trailers dropped for the Donghua (which looks really impressive) but no official news on a release date yet, though it was rumored to be part of Tencent 2021 schedule.

Character trailer :



☆ E. Danglars- @edanglars (Twitter)


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