Excerpt from A Case of Two Cities by Qiu Xiaolong, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Case of Two Cities

An Inspector Chen novel

by Qiu Xiaolong

A Case of Two Cities
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Nov 2006, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2007, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


“Well, it’s no longer an age of showing off just for the sake of doing so. It’s a banquet for guanxi. Big bucks in the business for big bugs in the government,” Lei said, putting a chunk of beef onto Chen’s plate.

“As Old Master Du said,” Chen replied, “The meat and wine go bad behind the vermilion door; / by the roadside lie the bodies starved to death.”

“Life is short,” Lei said. “Let’s eat and drink.”

Across the aisle, a young girl was putting her bare foot on an old man’s thigh, her red toenails like rose petals blossoming out of his carrot-thick fingers.



After the meal, they moved down to the rest area on the second floor. It consisted of large halls and small private rooms. The halls were for common customers, where men and women kept coming and going in their striped pajamas. Private rooms came in different sizes, providing privacy and special service at varying prices.

“Look, it’s Tong Tian, the head of Zhabei District,” Lei whispered, casting a suggestive look toward a man stepping into the private room across the aisle.

“Yes, Secretary Tong. I recognize him too.”

“He has sent his wife and daughter abroad. Vancouver. His daughter studies in a private school. They have a mansion there.”

“Well—” Chen understood the implication. Tong’s government salary was perhaps about the same as Chen’s. It took no brains to figure out Tong’s means of supporting his family abroad.

“With the door closed, a couple of pretty young girls at your service, a few thousand yuan could go in a snap of fingers. The room fee alone costs five hundred yuan an hour.” Lei concluded with an unexpected twist: “If our Party cadres were all like you, China would have realized communism.”

The hall appeared cozy, comfortable. Each customer had a soft recliner and a side table for drinks and snacks, and two large projection TVs showed an American movie. In front of them, massage girls kept walking back and forth, like bats flitting in the dusk.

“We’ve talked enough corruption for an evening,” Chen said. “Not a pleasant topic after a rich meal.”

Copyright © 2006 by Qiu Xiaolong. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  A Short History of Modern China

One Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hot Milk
    Hot Milk
    by Deborah Levy
    When people reach their early 20s, they often choose to go abroad – they want to get away from...
  • Book Jacket: Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    by Joy Williams
    I have to preface this review by saying that I am not a fan of religious fiction - not even books ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book That Matters Most
    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers appreciated the innovative structure of The Book That Matters ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood

    An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets and friendship.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things
    by Bryn Greenwood

    A memorable coming-of-age tale about loyalty, defiance, and the power of love.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.