A Loyal Character Dancer
Inspector Chen 2
By Qiu Xiaolong
'Another wonderful novel' - Washington Post - in the internationally acclaimed Inspector Chen crime series
Now a BBC Radio 4 Drama Series.
Former dancer and party loyalist Wen Liping vanishes in rural China just before she was to leave the country. Her husband, a key witness against a smuggling ring suspected of importing aliens to the US, refuses to testify until she is found and brought to join him in America.
A few days later, a badly mutilated body turns up in Shanghai's Bund Park. It bears all the hallmarks of a triad killing.
The US immigration agency, convinced that the Chinese government are hiding something, send US Marshal Catherine Rohn to Shanghai to join the investigation.
Inspector Chen, an astute young policeman with twin passions for food and poetry, is under political pressure to find answers fast. When Catherine Rohn joins him he must decide what is more dangerous: to hide the truth, or to risk unleashing a scandal that could destroy his career.
Qiu Xiaolong (pronounced 'Joe Shau-long') was born in Shanghai. The Cultural Revolution began in his last year of elementary school, and out of school, out of job, he studied English by himself in a local park.
In 1977, he began his studies at East China Normal University in Shanghai, and then the Chinese Academy of Social Science in Beijing. After graduation, he worked at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences as an associate research professor, published poems, translations and criticism, and became a member of the Chinese Writers' Association.
In 1988, he came to Washington University in St. Louis, U.S. as a Ford foundation fellow to do a project on Eliot, but after the Tiananmen tragedy of 1989, he decided to stay on. He then obtained a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Washington University and taught there.
Having won several awards for his poetry in English, he moved on to write a novel about contemporary Chinese society in transition, which developed into the critically acclaimed, award-winning Inspector Chen series. The series has been translated into sixteen languages. In addition, Qiu Xiaolong has published a poetry collection, several poetry translations, and a collection of linked stories (also serialized in Le Monde). He lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.
- Other details
- Publication date:
11 Jan 2007
- Page count:
A sequel that in many ways is even more impressive — Chicago Tribune
A luminescent synthesis of a thriller and a literary novel. — Independent
Xiaolong's astute rendering of the many contradictions of contemporary Chinese life centres on the brilliant Inspector Chen . . . A series that might well get you hooked. — Sunday Telegraph
Chen is a great creation, an honourable man in a world full of deception and treachery. — Guardian
With strong and subtle characterisation, Qiu Xiaolong draws us into a fascinating world where the greatest mystery revealed is the mystery of present-day China itself. — John Harvey
The first police whodunnit written by a Chinese author in English and set in contemporary China . . . its quality matches its novelty. — The Times
The usual enjoyable mix of murder, poetry and contradictions of contemporary Chinese culture. Chen is a splendid creation. — Independent on Sunday
A vivid portrait of modern Chinese society . . . full of the sights, sounds and smells of Shanghai . . . A work of real distinction. — Wall Street Journal
Qiu Xiaolong is one of the brightest stars in the firmament of modern literary crime fiction. His Inspector Chen mysteries dazzle as they entertain, combining crime with Chinese philosophy, poetry and food, Triad gangsters and corrupt officials. — Canberra Times, Australia
Gripping . . . Chen stands in a class with Martin Cruz Smith's Russian investigator, Arkady Renko, and P.D. James's Scotland Yard inspector, Adam Dalgliesh. — Publishers Weekly
Wonderful. — Washington Post