When Inspector Chen Cao agrees to do a translation job for a Triad-connected businessman he is given a laptop, a 'little secretary' to provide for his every need, medical care for his mother. There are, it seems, no strings attached ...Then a murder is reported: Chen is loath to shorten his working holiday, so Sergeant Yu is forced to take charge ...
When Inspector Chen Cao agrees to do a translation job for a Triad-connected businessman he is given a laptop, a 'little secretary' to provide for his every need, medical care for his mother. There are, it seems, no strings attached ...Then a murder is reported: Chen is loath to shorten his working holiday, so Sergeant Yu is forced to take charge of the investigation. The victim, a middle-aged teacher, has been found dead in her tiny room in a converted multi-family house. Only a neighbour could have committed the crime, but there is no motive. It is only when Chen returns and starts to investigate the past that he finds answers. But by then he has troubles of his own. This is the third critically acclaimed Inspector Chen mystery set in post-Cultural Revolution China.
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Fair. A readable copy of the book which may include some defects such as highlighting and notes. Cover and pages may be creased and show discolouration. B-format paperback. 320 p. Inspector Chen Cao. , 3.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-04-26 Like its predecessors Death of a Red Heroine (2000) and A Loyal Character Dancer (2002), Qiu's third Inspector Chen mystery provides an insightful look into modern China. When Yin Lige, the author of a banned book, is found murdered in her Shanghai apartment, detective Yu Guangming and his boss, Chief Inspector Chen Cao, must solve a case that may have far-reaching political and social implications. (The "red" of the title refers to Mao Zedong's Red Guard, the "black" to the supposed enemies of the working class denounced during the Cultural Revolution.) Yu doggedly pursues all leads, even as personal misfortunes threaten to ruin his life. Chen must help from afar as he takes time off to earn extra income translating business documents for an ambitious entrepreneur. Suspects range from the poignant "shrimp woman," who peels shrimp for a living, to possible enemies from the distant past. Yu soon uncovers the long-ago romance between the victim and Yang Bing, a college professor. This love affair, delicately rendered, allows the author to include many fragile but beautiful Chinese poems. Deftly depicting a China fractured along class and party lines even in matters of love, Qiu also dramatically demonstrates how the past affects the daily lives of Chinese people today. Only a banal solution to the mystery spoils an otherwise engrossing read. (July 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2003-06-09 "What we think is impossible happens all the time," observes Amanda, the narrator of Gran's second novel (after 2001's Saturn's Return to New York), providing all the explanation advanced for this effectively understated account of her demonic possession. An industrious young architect with a promising career and seemingly happy marriage, Amanda begins acting uncharacteristically: writing obscene notes to her boss, shoplifting, committing impulsive acts of cruelty, indulging in extramarital affairs-and worse. These episodes, as inexplicable as they are erratic, dovetail with sexually suggestive dreams dominated by an alluring woman who reminds Amanda of her imaginary childhood playmate. Is Amanda losing her grip? Or is Naamah, the dream woman, a demon who has sought since Amanda's infancy to take control of her? Gran keeps the reader as intriguingly uncertain as her heroine, letting Amanda relate her experience in the casual, un-self-conscious voice of someone so increasingly accepting of her outrageous behavior that she almost seems to stand outside it. This ambiguous balancing of the psychological and supernatural creates just the right amount of narrative tension to keep the reader turning pages to see if Amanda is a lost soul on the road to perdition or just a bored yuppie giving into the imp of the perverse. Gran demonstrates that an urbane and subtle approach to ideas more often treated with hysteria and flash can still produce a gripping contemporary tale of terror. (Aug.) Forecast: As the blurbs from Stewart O'Nan and Darin Strauss suggest, this one is aimed, like Gran's sleeper of a first novel, at a mainstream literary audience. Genre horror fans can help give a boost, especially with a World Fantasy or Stoker nomination. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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