Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Loyal Character Dancer

Some time ago I came across 2 books in this series by Qiu Xiaolong at my local used book store. I read the first one of them a few months ago. A Loyal Character Dancer is the 2nd in the series. I enjoyed this one more than the first, perhaps because I have more appreciation now for the writing style. January Magazine profiles the author.

from the publisher:
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.

The Asian Review of Books has some criticism but says that "the novel's final pages suggest a serious talent mining a major theme." The Independent says that "while there are infelicities, this is a luminescent synthesis of the thriller and literary novel."

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