Shanghai Redemption: An Inspector Chen Novel
Minotaur, 2016 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
iu Xiaolong's Inspector Chen mysteries give a rare glimpse into modern China (dirty laundry and all!) In his latest,
, someone very powerful is trying to neutralize the liberal investigator by any means necessary - but that only makes him dig deeper.
s the novel opens, Chen Cao has been unexpectedly
- from chief inspector and Deputy Party Secretary of the Shanghai Police Bureau to director of the Shanghai Legal Reform Committee, a position with no real power. He's clearly in trouble, but why, and who is after him?
o he lays low, pretending to spend all his energies on the Qingming (grave visiting) Festival. He buses to his father's tomb in the Suzhou cemetery. While arranging its renovation, he starts quietly digging into the caseload that was on his desk when he lost his position. And he meets an attractive young woman, who (believing him to be a PI) asks him to investigate her ex in Shanghai.
ortunately Chen has help with all his problems. His longtime partner, Detective Yu Guangming has been named head of the Special Case Squad. Yu and his wife Peiqin both take risks to help Chen find out what's going on - and how he might counteract it. An attempt to entrap Chen (and charge him with a sex crime) fails, more a matter of luck than anything else. Someone who had helped Chen dies and others are hurt.
s there a link to the dead pig case, or to a dead American. How is the First Lady of Shanghai involved and what has been hidden in a jar of fermented tofu? It's all very complicated but Chen does finally make sense of '
another corruption and conspiracy story
'. He is an unusual policeman, whose literary bent adds depth to the series. And this latest episode is one of the best - don't miss it.
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