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En röd hjältinnas död by Xiaolong Qiu
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En röd hjältinnas död (original 2000; edition 2004)

by Xiaolong Qiu

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8374210,767 (3.76)104
Member:cetera_desunt
Title:En röd hjältinnas död
Authors:Xiaolong Qiu
Info:Stockholm: Ordfront, 2004 453, [1] s. ; 18 cm [Ny utg.]
Collections:Your library, Allt annat
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, china, mystery, shanghai

Work details

Death of a Red Heroine by Xiaolong Qiu (2000)

1990s (6) 20th century (10) Asia (9) Chen Cao (8) China (186) Chinese (19) Chinese literature (15) communism (14) crime (62) crime fiction (39) detective (19) detective fiction (5) fiction (112) Inspector Chen (19) library (6) murder (7) murder mystery (5) mystery (144) noir (5) novel (16) own (5) police (13) police procedural (19) politics (8) read (15) Roman (6) series (10) Shanghai (55) to-read (30) unread (9)
  1. 01
    The Flower Net by Lisa See (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: These books have a similar setting and time period and will probably appeal to the same readers.
  2. 01
    Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Klassiker der chinesischen Literatur. Wird gerne in den Romanen von Qiu Xiaolong zitiert. Ist das Lieblingsbuch der Frau des Assistenten von Inspector Chen. Unbedingt lesenswert - beide!
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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Book 1, in the Inspector Chen series

This novel is something more than a suspenseful whodunit crime story it is one that explore in some ways the old-socialist/new capitalist tensions that were central to China’s ideology post-Tiananmen Square. In the early 1990 it was a difficult time of transition, new rules were being written and it was hard to know how to act. This story offers a peek into the often crooked world in which the population had to work in.

Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau’s Special Case Squad is the lead character and we have a huge cast of players with foreign name to grasp (at least for me) but the author has made it easy by making them very human and distinguishable. “Death of a Red Heroine” provides an idea how Chinese life may have been then. The author’s background being in literature he takes advantage of this by inserting snippets of famous Chinese poems as well as his own (through his protagonist) throughout the drama. The story is well-written although I did find it arduous to read at times (I am not of fan of poetry). The suspense is refreshing but I found the investigation to be slow and faltering. There is little build-up intensity to keep us on the edge of our seat. Food, yes food, luscious foods are mentioned so many times that by the end I was tempted to try my hands at some of the recipes…:)

The story follows the intrepid attempts of Chen to discover the person responsible for the murder of Guan Hongying. Recently promoted Chen sets out to prove himself by solving the case. The flow of information seems to come from seniors party members and this political interference not only added pressure on Chen to close the case it also played hardship on his personal life…..

This book written in 2000 is the debut novel in a long series. The style is very deferent to the one found with American and English writers, some adjustment is needed to enjoy it at its fullest. Although, a good novel I am not certain I will continue further with this series….. ( )
  Tigerpaw70 | Jul 11, 2014 |
Our hero, the police detective who spouts ancient poetry, investigates in the face of political pressure the death of a model worker. Author tries to introduce us to aspects of Chinese life and culture. ( )
  pnorman4345 | Jun 19, 2014 |
A prominent young Communist, a "national model worker," is found dead by two fishermen in a Shanghai canal. The case is given to Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Special Cases Bureau to solve, until his investigation starts to tread on party territory.

This was a very different kind of mystery, and it took me a while to get used to the rhythm of it. I don't pretend to have any knowledge of Chinese politics in the 1990's, and some of that knowledge would have helped me. But once I got into the swing of it, I liked this book. The killer is identified early, but the twists and turns of Communist party politics keep the story going. There are many references to Chinese poems, and although the story drags in a few places, I still think it is a worthwhile read. I'm anxious to carry on with the series. ( )
  tloeffler | Dec 24, 2013 |
An excellent, compelling mystery, even if you're not interested in China/modern Chinese history. But as someone who is interested in Chinese history (modern and otherwise), I found Death of a Red Heroine to be even better than your average mystery. Technically there's really only one main character, Chief Inspector Chen and a few minor characters, including Chen's partner, Detective Yu. But, in reality, there are two main characters Chen and the CCP, which makes the book even more tense and interesting than it could be by just being a mystery novel.

Chen runs afoul of the CCP, which is not surprising, but is done masterfully well. Yu is a worthy partner, pulling his weight and doing his job well when Chen's hands are tied. There are other minor characters; Yu's wife, Chen's former lover and a possibly current love interest, as well as characters who pass in and out of both Chen and Yu's lives (some are police and some are not). While some of these characters are only there for a few pages, Qiu Xiaolong does them all justice.

The ending of the book is not happy, though the case is all by solved, it is satisfying -- especially if you have any knowledge of Communist China from the late 80s, early 90s (the novel is set in 1990, a year after Tiananmen Square). Overall, this book was fantastic and I immediately acquired a copy of the second book in the series. ( )
  callmecayce | May 30, 2013 |
have ebook version
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Epigraph
Deep as the Peach Blossom Lake can be,
it is not so deep as the song you sing for me.
— Li Bai
Dedication
For Lijun
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The body was found at 4:40 P.M., on May 11, 1990, in Baili Canal, an out-of-the-way canal, about twenty miles to the west of Shanghai.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In this Anthony Award-winning debut, Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police must find the murderer of a National Model worker, and then risk his own life and career to see that justice is done.
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When the body of a prominent Communist Party member is found, Chief Inspector Chen is told to keep the party authorities informed about every lead. When his investigation leads him to the decadent offspring of high-ranking officials, he finds himself instantly removed from the case.… (more)

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