Enigma of China: An Inspector Chen Novel (Inspector Chen Cao)
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Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department is in an unusual situation―a poet by training and inclination, he was assigned by the party to the Police Department after he graduated college, where he has continued to shine. Now he's a rising cadre in the party, in line to take over the top politic position in the police department, while being one of most respected policeman in the department. Which is why he's brought in by the Party to sign off on the investigation into the death of Zhou Keng.
Zhou Keng―a trusted princeling, son of a major party member―was head of the Shanghai Housing Development Committee when a number of his corrupt practices were exposed on the internet. Removed from his position and placed into extra-legal detention, Zhou apparently hanged himself while under guard. While the Party is anxious to have Zhou's death declared a suicide, and for the renowned Chief Inspector Chen to sign off on that conclusion, the sequence of events don't quite add up. Now Chen will have to decide what to do – investigate the death as a possible homicide and risk angering unseen powerful people, or seek the justice that his position requires him to strive for.
Qiu Xiaolong's Enigma of China is one of Publishers Weekly's Best Mystery/Thriller Books of 2013
time. Chen began to have second thoughts about this assignment after his dinner with the Yus. The city government might not be able to convince people with just an announcement that Zhou had committed suicide. A police investigation into his death could be a necessary show, one that had best be performed in convincing earnestness. So as Yu had put it, Chen’s role as a consultant could simply be to endorse the conclusion. If so, Chief Inspector Chen was in no hurry to do anything. What made
one-time, fake e-mail address and logged in from an Internet café.” “So the sender applied for the e-mail address while he was at the café, and then never used it again.” “Jiang checked into it with the Internet café, but he drew a blank. He concluded that the troublemaker must have calculated all the possible consequences of initiating the crowd-sourced search. That’s why Jiang has been focusing on that angle—” “Hold on a moment, Wei. Does Jiang think the sender could be the murderer?” “No.
by another call, this one from Detective Yu, who never hesitated to phone, despite the late hour. “Look out, Chief. Internal Security has come into the picture.” “The ones who police the police. Why are they now involved?” “Well, you would know better than me.” The fact was that Chen didn’t know, having been away from the bureau for most of the afternoon. Still, the appearance of Internal Security meant things had become too sensitive for the police bureau, or too sinister. Or Internal
complimentary tickets?” “Not for the most sought-after performances, but frequently, yes. In this new concert hall, the ticket prices are so high that there’s no possibility that all concerts will sell out, so why not give a couple of free tickets to a journalist? A mention in Wenhui could be worth much more.” “You have to write a review of it?” “A short piece will be enough. One paragraph. Nothing but clichés. All I have to do is say something about the excellent performance, something about
health. You know the kind of people who stay at that hospital, don’t you? The patients are usually high-ranking cadres, with the occasional Big Bucks. There are special wards reserved exclusively for top Party cadres. My mother was a rare exception, due to my personal connection to a doctor—let’s call him Dr. H—whom I happen to know from years ago.” “I know it’s a high-cadre hospital. Several months ago, I tried to interview somebody there, but I wasn’t even allowed to get a foot in the door.