Death of a Red Heroine (An Inspector Chen Investigation)
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Qiu Xiaolong's Anthony Award-winning debut introduces Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police.
A young “national model worker,” renowned for her adherence to the principles of the Communist Party, turns up dead in a Shanghai canal. As Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Special Cases Bureau struggles to trace the hidden threads of her past, he finds himself challenging the very political forces that have guided his life since birth. Chen must tiptoe around his superiors if he wants to get to the bottom of this crime, and risk his career—perhaps even his life—to see justice done.
however, he had somehow come around to a different perspective. Life was not easy for most people, especially during China’s transitional period between socialist politics and capitalist economics. There might be a lot of things of more importance or at least of more immediate urgency than modernist and postmodernist literary criticism. “Son, you still yearn after the other kind of life, don’t you— study, books, all that sort of thing?” “I don’t know. Last week I happened to read a critical
mother has been burning incense, but to what particular god, I don’t know.” “Guanyin, I know. I once saw her kowtow to a clay image—it must be more than ten years ago—and I asked her about it.” In Lu’s eyes, Chief Inspector Chen had fallen into Fortune’s lap—or that of whatever god in Chinese mythology had brought him luck. Unlike most people of his generation, though an “educated youth” who had graduated from high school, Chen was not sent to the countryside “to be reeducated by poor and
been that narcissistic? The idea that she’d made the trip by herself did not make sense, as Wang had pointed out at the café. But supposing she had, there was another question—Who had taken all the pictures of her? For her? Some had been taken at difficult angles, or from a considerable distance. It was hard to believe that she could have managed to have taken them by herself. There was not even a camera left among her few belongings. Nor a single roll of film, used or unused, in the drawers.
family connections, HCC could do what other people could not dream of doing, and rocketed up in their political careers. A typical HCC, Wu must have thought the world was like a watermelon, which he could cut to pieces as he pleased, spitting other people’s lives away like seeds. Life’s not fair to everybody, a fact Detective Yu had long accepted. Family background, for one thing, made a huge difference everywhere, though nowhere so much as in China in the nineties. But now Wu Xiaoming had
the time for the morning tea?” “Morning tea is a must.” Ouyang smiled expansively. “It’s easier for people to talk business over their tea. To cultivate the feeling before they cut the deal. But we can just talk poetry to our hearts’ content.” Chen was a bit disturbed, however, when he was not allowed to pay. Ouyang stopped him with a passionate speech: “I have made some money. But what then? In twenty or thirty years, what will be left? Nothing. My money will be somebody else’s. Dog-eared,