Inspector Chen novels


Death of a Red Heroine - Qiu Xiaolong

Death of a Red Heroine – Qiu Xiaolong

Inspector Chen, a character I had never heard of.

A series of novels, set in Shanghai, in the immediate aftermath of Tiananmen Square massacre.

A China that is changing, from the China of Chairman Mao, to the China we see of today.

Inspector Chen is an unusual character. He is a poet and there are many references to early Chinese poetry. He studied English at university, was hoping to go on to a Masters Degree, but is ordered to take up a post as a diplomat, until it is found his uncle had unrevolutionary tendencies. He is transferred to the Shanghai Police to write reports for the local Party Secretary. He asks to be assigned to police work, and is assigned to special cases, political cases, given his own apartment, this at a time when three generations of a family are all living in one apartment.

Each person encountered is politely addressed by their title, or as Comrade.

A wonderful insight into China.

Qiu Xiaolong (1953- ) was born Shanghai, China. Visiting the United States in 1988 to write a book about T S Eliot, but following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, and a newspaper reporting on his previous fundraising efforts for Chinese students, he was forced to remain in America to avoid persecution by the Chinese Communist Party.

BBC Radio 4 has dramatised three of the Inspector Chen novels.

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