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Becoming Inspector Chen


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A haunting and gut-wrenching political mystery set in Shanghai that explores the fallout of the Cultural Revolution.

About the Author

Anthony Award winning author Qiu Xiaolong was born in Shanghai and moved to Washington University in St Louis, US, to complete a PhD degree in comparative literature. After the Tiananmen tragedy in 1989 he stayed on in St Louis where he still lives with his wife. Qiu's sold over two million copies of his Inspector Chen mysteries worldwide and been published in twenty languages. On top of his fiction, he is a prize-winning writer of poetry.

All the titles in the Inspector Chen series, including Hold Your Breath, China, have been dramatized in BBC Radio 4 productions.



Qiu deepens his Dalgliesh-like series lead in his superior 11th novel featuring Shanghai policeman and poet Chen Cao . While series fans will be delighted at the background Qiu provides, this is an accessible starting point for newcomers interested in a dogged, honest cop who must battle his own government to do his job
*Publishers Weekly Starred Review*

Gripping . Chen's memories of the brutalities practiced on people regarded as intellectuals under Mao, like Chen's father (a teacher), are achingly vivid. The latest Chen is both a scathing indictment of contemporary China and an explanation of how poet Chen came to be Chief Inspector Chen

Another elegant mix of recent history and literary embellishments and a richer Chen backstory . Qiu's stylish hybrid is half fictional literary memoir and half crisp whodunit
*Kirkus Reviews*

Outstanding ... Fans of mysteries about honest cops working for compromised regimes won't want to miss this one
*Publishers Weekly Starred Review of Hold Your Breath, China*

Fascinating ... Xiaolong writes with both urgency and grace about modern China in another well-crafted mystery
*Booklist Starred Review of Hold Your Breath, China*

Inspector Chen's 10th mystery effectively uses the genre to explore China's current pollution crisis
*Kirkus Reviews on Hold Your Breath, China*

Another superb entry in an always-outstanding series
*Booklist Starred Review of Shanghai Redemption*

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