A stunning read. Qiu Ziaolong has written a murder mystery entwined with Communist Party politics, traditional Chinese poetry, and the sights and smells of life in China in 1989.
The story unfolds in Shanghai, the business center of China. Chief Inspector Chen and his loyal detective, Yu Guangming, become embroiled in what turns out to be the murder of a national hero. Their investigation rocks boats all the way to Beijing and back.
This is not a new book, copyright 2000 in my paperback version, but it is a must read for anyone who would like a better understanding of life in China. Qiu Ziaolong left China in 1989 at the age of thirty-six and is now a professor of Chinese Literature at Washington University in St. Louis. He has written nine novels with this one being his first. I am eager to read them in order.
I will add that I was able to spend three weeks in China in 1996 and his descriptions were as good as photographs; I was returned to the delights of that trip.