Author(s): Qiu Xiaolong
Now a BBC Radio 4 Drama Series. Shanghai in 1990. An ancient city in a country that despite the massacre of Tiananmen Square is still in the tight grip of communist control. Chief Inspector Chen, a poet with a sound instinct for self-preservation, knows the city like few others. When the body of a prominent Communist Party member is found, Chen is told to keep the party authorities informed about every lead. Also, he must keep the young woman's murder out of the papers at all costs. When his investigation leads him to the decadent offspring of high-ranking officials, he finds himself instantly removed from the case and reassigned to another area. Chen has a choice: bend to the party's wishes and sacrifice his morals, or continue his investigation and risk dismissal from his job and from the party. Or worse ...
Prizewinning debut of an extraordinary new voice in crime writing.
'Stupendous ... It does what detective fiction can do best: it captures the details, the grit of everyday life ... A matchless pearl.' -- Fresh Air, National Public Radio, USA 'Blends history, plenty of poetry and a compelling mystery: the murder of Guan Hongying, a former national role-model worker, a beautiful young woman who slipped from patriotic fame into loneliness and depravity ... We get to see, smell, taste and hear an amazingly evocative portrait of a country.' -- Chicago Tribune 'Chen is an irresistible protagonist, likable and determined to make the honourable choices, no matter how dangerous. Qiu's portrait of China in transition, a potential eye-opener for many of his Western readers, is an equally compelling attraction.' -- Kirkus Reviews 'Superb ... brilliant' -- Newsday 'Marvellously assured ... engrossing, immensely readable' -- Wall Street Journal 'Riveting and convincing' -- Far Eastern Economic Review
Qiu Xiaolong was born in Shanghai. He was selected for membership of the Chinese Writers' Association and published poetry, translations and criticism in China. He has lived in the United States since 1989 and has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature awarded by Washington University. His work has been published in many literary magazines in America and in several anthologies. He has been the recipient of the Missouri Biennial Award, the Prairie Schooner Readers' Choice Award, a Yaddo and a Ford Foundation Fellowship. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.