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Red Mandarin Dress
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Now a BBC Radio 4 Drama Series. Political corruption, capitalist greed and past injustices are all revealed when Inspector Chen investigates a serial killer in Shanghai. An early morning jogger found her. Clad in nothing but a red mandarin dress, she had been dumped, barely concealed, on a traffic island. The death of a dancing girl was unpleasant but this was particularly unusual in that she had been left openly in the centre of town. She had probably angered one of the Mr Big Bucks that were taking over and transforming Shanghai. Inspector Chen is an intuitive investigator, a talented poet and an honourable man on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Desperate to find a way to release himself from the perilous police career that had been chosen for him, he takes time off to begin an MA in Literature. Then another girl is found dead . . . With a serial killer on the loose. Chen is pulled back to work and into his most dangerous assignment yet.
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Never before published fifth novel in the stunning literary crime series that has received international critical acclaim.

About the Author

Qiu Xiaolong was born in Shanghai. He was selected for membership of the Chinese Writers' Association and published poetry, translations and criticism in China. He has lived in the United States since 1989. He has been the recipient of the Missouri Biennial Award, the Prairie Schooner Readers' Choice Award, a Yaddo and a Ford Foundation Fellowship.

Reviews

Bringing 1990s Communist China alive, Qiu's masterful fifth Inspector Chen mystery (after 2006's A Case of Two Cities) finds Shanghai terrorized by its first-ever serial killer. The murderer dresses his victims' corpses in fancy red mandarin dresses before leaving them in public places. Insp. Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department has taken a step back from his professional life to pursue an advanced literature course instead of investigating a politically sensitive corruption case, but now he must return to active duty and help in the manhunt. He learns that the symbolic garb may be connected to the corruption scandal, but not before a young female officer falls prey. The solution may strike some as a little pat, but the first-rate characterizations and elegant portrait of a society attempting to move from rigid Maoist ideologies to an accommodation with capitalism will keep readers engaged and eager for more. (Nov.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

'[Xiaolong] vividly details the human cost of a city (the new consumer crazy Shanghai) devouring itself ... Yet even in these dangerous surroundings, culture and beauty endure and an honest man can still chart a path for good, no matter how perilous' -- Economist 'The creation of Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau is a very successful addition to the detective genre ... a fresh, fast-paced detective thriller that will keep you turning those pages' -- Sunday Express 'Atmospheric and rich in behind the scenes detail, Qiu Xiaolong's mysteries pit the poetry-loving Inspector Chen of Shanghai against criminality and corruption in the new China ... Morse of the Far East' -- Independent '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 luminescent synthesis of thriller and literary novel' -- Independent on A LOYAL CHARACTER DANCER 'Stupendous' -- Fresh Air, National Public Radio, USA on DEATH OF A RED HEROINE 'With strong and subtle characterisation, Qui Xiaolong draws us into a fascinating world where the greatest mystery revealed is the mystery of present-day China itself.' -- John Harvey 'Compelling ... this fast-moving crime novel admirably depicts the intriguing struggles of characters grasping a foothold in a new and rising China.' -- TLS on A CASE OF TWO CITIES 'A great read.' -- Guardian on WHEN RED IS BLACK 'Chen is an irresistible protagonist ... Qiu's portrait of China in transition, a potential eye-opener for many of his Western readers, is an equally compelling attraction.' -- Kirkus Reviews on DEATH OF A RED HEROINE 'A vivid portrait of modern Chinese society ... full of the sights, sounds and smells of Shanghai ... A work of real distinction.' -- Wall Street Journal 'A great read' -- Weekend Australian on DEATH OF A RED HEROINE 'In a word: brilliant' -- Herald Sun on DEATH OF A RED HEROINE 'Chen is a great creation, an honourable man in a world full of deception and treachery' -- Guardian "fascinating and essential reading... Chen is a delightful and humane guide." -- Reviewing the Evidence 20080331

Shanghai Police Chief Inspector Chen is making one last stab at attaining his graduate degree in literature. However, he is asked to take a look at a case involving financial corruption on a high level. Then there are the murders of young women clad in red mandarin dresses. Whether he is chasing a serial killer or a thieving bureaucrat, Chen is at his best dodging political land mines and solving personal dilemmas. In this fifth entry in an outstanding series (Death of a Red Heroine), author Qiu captures the bustling atmosphere of modern China coming to grips with its Communist roots. Patrons who enjoy mysteries set in today's China, such as those by Peter May, will want this one. The author lives in St. Louis. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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