When Christopher Banks becomes a private detective, he fulfills a lifelong ambition. However, none of his new professional chores have the force of one very personal assignment: Banks decides to return to his Shanghai birthplace to trace his parents, who disappeared when he was just a boy. In the hands of a less adept novelist, this plot would slip quickly into well-worn tracks. In the hands of Kazuo Ishiguro, the author of Booker Prize-winning Remains of the Day, the narrative becomes a subtle instrument, registering cultural nuances and character changes.
Ishiguro shows immense tenderness for his characters. [The novel] confirms Ishiguro as one of Britain's mist formally daring and challenging novelists.