'As modern China's profile rises, so too does the stock of literature from and about it. But Shanghai-born Qiu Xiaolong's Inspector Chen detective series is one of the freshest and most unpredictable of the lot' Newsweek
Now a BBC Radio 4 Drama Series.
Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau is summoned by an official of the Party to lead a highly charged corruption investigation. Tentacles have spread through the police force, the civil service, the vice trade and deep into the criminal underworld. The principal figure and his family have long since fled to the United States, beyond the reach of the Chinese government. But the network is still intact and it is only a matter of time before it becomes stronger than before.
Chen is charged - and it is a job he cannot refuse - with uncovering those responsible, and destroying the organisation from the top down to its roots. In a twisting case that reunites him with his counterpart from the US Marshals service - Inspector Catherine Rohn - Chen must find a measure of justice in a corrupt, expedient world.
'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 starred review
'Chen is a great creation, an honourable man in a world full of deception and treachery' - Guardian
A luminescent synthesis of a thriller and a literary novel - Independent on A LOYAL CHARACTER DANCER
'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
'As modern China's profile rises, so too does the stock of literature from and about it. But Shanghai-born Qiu Xiaolong's Inspector Chen detective series is one of the freshest and most unpredictable of the lot. He is deft at delivering clever insights and plot twists that entangle both Communist Party officials and their critics. His protagonist, Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau, tracks down murderers and cheats against the backdrop of ordinary folks struggling to reconcile social upheaval and their lingering nostalgia for Chairman Mao. An honest cop whose personal ethics often conflict with the politically expedient orders from above, Chen embodies the confusion--both ideological and spiritual--that haunts modern China.' - Newsweek
'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 on DEATH OF A RED HEROINE
'Qiu gives a fresh perspective on the forces shaping a new China and the influences of the Cultural Revolution and then Tiananmen in 1989.' - Sunday Morning Post, Hong Kong
'A vivid portrait of modern Chinese society ... full of the sights, sounds and smells of Shanghai.' - Wall Street Journal
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.