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Inspector Chen’s mentor in the Shanghai Police Bureau has assigned him to escort U.S. Marshal Catherine Rohn. Her mission is to bring Wen, the wife of a witness in an important criminal trial, to the United States. Inspector Rohn is already en route when Chen learns that Wen has unaccountably vanished from her village in Fujian. Or is this just what he is supposed to believe? Chen resents his role; he would rather investigate the triad killing in Shanghai’s beauteous Bund Park. But his boss insists that saving face with Inspector Rohn has priority. So Chen Cao, the ambitious son of a father who imbued him with Confucian precepts, must tread warily as he tries once again to be a good cop, a good man, and also a loyal Party member.
“A sequel [to Death of a Red Heroine] that in many ways is even more impressive. . . . [Qiu] has moved from the poetic, exotic milieu of his first book (although plenty of elements remain) into a tougher, wider, probably more commercial and modern version of China as seen by America.”–Chicago Tribune
“Another wonderful novel featuring Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police Bureau . . . [for] Sinophiles like myself, who fantasize about taking an insider’s tour of Shanghai.”–Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air
“The travelogue aspects of the novel don’t overwhelm its critical intelligence. As in all hard-boiled [mysteries], the murder and mayhem provide a cover story for a larger investigation of social mysteries.”–Chicago Sun-Times