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Enigma of China (Inspector Chen Novels)by Qiu Xiaolong
Synopses & Reviews
Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department is in an unusual situation—a poet by training and inclination, he was assigned by the party to the Police Department after he graduated college, where he has continued to shine. Now hes a rising cadre in the party, in line to take over the top politic position in the police department, while being one of most respected policeman in the department. Which is why hes brought in by the Party to sign off on the investigation into the death of Zhou Keng.
Zhou Keng—a trusted princeling, son of a major party member—was head of the Shanghai Housing Development Committee when a number of his corrupt practices were exposed on the internet. Removed from his position and placed into extra-legal detention, Zhou apparently hanged himself while under guard. While the Party is anxious to have Zhous death declared a suicide, and for the renowned Chief Inspector Chen to sign off on that conclusion, the sequence of events dont quite add up. Now Chen will have to decide what to do - investigate the death as a possible homicide and risk angering unseen powerful people, or seek the justice that his position requires him to strive for.
Qiu Xiaolong's Enigma of China is one of Publishers Weekly's Best Mystery/Thriller Books of 2013
"The dilemmas of being an ethical cop in a police state have rarely been as neatly delineated as in Qiu's superb eighth novel featuring Chief Insp. Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau (after 2012's Don't Cry, Tai Lake). Chen — a poetry lover and a member of the Shanghai Communist Party Committee — helps look into the apparent suicide of Zhou Keng, the director of the city's housing development committee, at the hotel where he was under extralegal detention. Zhou ostensibly hanged himself out of shame after a crowdsourced Internet investigation revealed his corruption, but Chen doubts the official story, especially after another suspicious death. All too aware of his country's contradictions, Chen nods in agreement with a scholar who, in a 'controversial yet permissible lecture,' refers to 'things that are called socialist or Communist in our Party's newspapers but are in practice actually capitalistic, primitive or crony capitalistic, and utterly materialistic.' This installment approaches the levels of Eliot Pattison and James Church's similarly themed novels, and the series has gotten stronger with age. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
QIU XIAOLONG is a poet and author of several previous novels featuring Inspector Chen as well as Years of Red Dust, a Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2010. Born and raised in Shanghai, Qiu lives with his family in St. Louis, Missouri.
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