Don’t Cry Tai Lake: An Inspector Chen Novel

Qiu Xiaolong. Minotaur, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-55064-6
Edgar-finalist Qiu’s enjoyable seventh Inspector Chen novel (after 2009’s The Mao Case) takes the vacationing Shanghai police officer to the exclusive Wuxi Cadre Recreation Center on the shores of Tai Lake, where Chen befriends Shanshan, a female environmental engineer who works at one of the most successful chemical companies in the region. When the idealistic Shanshan gets into trouble at work, Chen’s good-natured offer to meet a local admirer of his, a recent police academy graduate, gives Chen an opportunity to help Shanshan, though his efforts soon lead him to investigate the murder of the head of Shanshan’s factory. That serendipity sometimes furthers the detective work won’t bother those for whom this mystery’s chief appeal is its insights into many of the contradictions of present-day China, a classless society where you have to be a high-ranking party cadre to gain free access to a park renowned for its scenic beauty—and where industry booms at the cost of severe water pollution. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2012
Release date: 05/08/2012
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