Jonathan Mirsky

Sin In Shanghai

When Red is Black

By

Soho Press 320pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

I NEVER READ thrillers unless they’re by Conan Doyle or, nowadays, by Qiu Xiaolong. A Chinese living in America and writing in agreeably quaint English, Qui has created two riveting Shanghai cops, Chief Inspector Chen Cao and his assistant, Detective Yu Guangmng. Chen is not quite as clever as Sherlock Holmes, but Yu is much less toadying than Watson. They have already appeared in Qiu’s two earlier, very good books, Death of a Red Heroine and A Loyal Character Dancer. Just as Sherlock Holmes familiarised us with the London underworld, Chen and Yu take us about the seedier parts of Shanghai and inside the hangouts of the vulgar newly rich, while the two policemen endure the political pressure and corruption hovering around Chinese life.

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