An interesting story on some fronts, but not as well written as I had expected. The story is too long and drawn out, repetitive and amateurish to some degree. It seems that the author had some important things to say, but was afraid of really asserting himself and exposing the massive corruption that permeates all aspects of Chinese bureaucracy.
Excellent book, much better than I expected. Prose is clear and concise. Not only does the author hooks you with the murder investigation, but he also gives you a clear glimpse of what life was like in Shanghai during the early 90's. This is a book that will please not only murder/mystery fans but readers of good fiction in general.
This book introduces us to Inspector Chen, a police officer in a China of 1990. China is changing, but the old cadres still have power. Chen must fulfill his desire to do the right thing within the law without antagonizing those in power. Chen is a very interesting character, a man who lives alone, has a widowed mother, and would have preferred to spend his life in academia. He is a poet who has become recognized and published a few times. The young woman whose death Chen must investigate has been a paragon, a national role-model worker. Who has killed her and why? The book is filled with political intrigue and fascinating characters; I enjoyed Death of a Red Heroine.