When Red Is Black
By Qiu Xiaolong
(Soho Crime, Paperback, 9781569473962, 320pp.)
Publication Date: August 1, 2005
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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“Sublime . . . complex and riveting.”—Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post Book World
“A vivid picture of modern Chinese society . . . a work of real distinction.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] terrific series. . . . [Qiu’s] perspective on China gives the mystery genre a cultural twist and unusual direction that make his books unique and well worth reading.”—The Rocky Mountain News
Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau is taking a vacation, in part because he is annoyed at his boss, Party Secretary Li, but also because he has been made an offer he can’t refuse by Gu, a triad-connected businessman. For what seems to be a fortune—with no apparent strings attached— he is to translate a business proposal for the New World, a complex of shops and restaurants to be built in Central Shanghai, evoking nostalgia for the “glitter and glamour” of the 1930s.
It is up to Detective Yu, Chen’s partner, to take charge of a new case. Yin, a novelist, has been murdered in her room. At first it seems that only a neighbor could have committed the crime, but when one confesses, Yu cannot believe that he is really the killer. As Yu looks further into Yin’s life, ample motives begin to surface, even on the part of Internal Security. But it is only when Inspector Chen steps back into the investigation that the culprit is apprehended. And then Chen discovers how Gu has played him and how he, in turn, can play the new capitalist system.
Qiu Xiaolong was born in Shanghai and received an MA in English and American literature in China. He received a PhD in comparative literature from Washington University in St. Louis, where he now teaches. He is the author of Death of a Red Heroine, which has now been translated into seven languages, and A Loyal Character Dancer, both available in paperback from Soho Crime.