The fourth book in the Inspector Chen series, this unusual and compelling crime novel blends character, poetry, insights into Chinese society and culture, and food with a compelling plot.
Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau is summoned by an official of the party to take the lead in a corruption investigation - one where the principle figure and his family have long since fled to the United States and beyond the reach of the Chinese government. But he left behind the organization and his partners-in-crime, and Inspector Chen is charged to uncover those responsible and act as necessary to end the corruption ring. In a twisting case that takes him from Shanghai, all the way to the U.S., reuniting him with his previous cohort from the U.S. Marshall's service - Inspector Catherine Rhon.
Chief Inspector Chen Cao, of the Shanghai Police Bureau, was invited to a
mega bathhouse, Birds Flying, Fishes Jumping, on a May afternoon.
According to Lei Zhenren, editor of Shanghai Morning, they would have all their worries luxuriously washed away there. How much concern do you have? / It is like spring flood / of a long river flowing east. This ultramodern bathhouse is really unique. Characteristics of the Chinese brand of socialism. You wont see anything else like it in the world.
Lei knew how to persuade, having quoted for the poetry-liking chief inspector three lines from Li Yu, the Southern Tang emperor poet. Characteristics of the Chinese brand of socialism was a political catchphrase, which carried a discordant connotation, especially in the context of the unprecedented materialistic transformation sweeping over the city of Shanghai. As it happened, Chen had just read about the bathhouse in ...
In such a climate as modern-day Shanghai it could be argued that, in such a climate, it is not possible to remain strictly honest to the letter of the law, and thus it is up to the individual's own conscience to toe that very fine line between what is morally right and wrong. Inspector Chen's awareness of this quandary and his desire to do the right thing, coupled with his frequent revulsion at his occupation, are what make him a truly noble figure. The potential for corruption is constantly presented to him like tasty dim sum, but he resists, even though so many around him are gorging themselves on the opportunities.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (1247 words).
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