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"Dark, gorgeous…feels authentically Chinese and it works like a charm." --Washington Post Book World on A Case of Two Cities

Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department is offered a bit of luxury by friends and supporters within the Party – a week's vacation at a luxurious resort near Lake Tai, a week where he can relax, and recover, undisturbed by outside demands or disruptions. Unfortunately, the once beautiful Lake Tai, renowned for its clear waters, is now covered by fetid algae, its waters polluted by toxic runoff from local manufacturing plants. Then the director of one of the manufacturing plants responsible for the pollution is murdered and the leader of the local ecological group is the primary suspect of the local police. Now Inspector Chen must tread carefully if he is to uncover the truth behind the brutal murder and find a measure of justice for both the victim and the accused.

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    Simple yet vivid

    I seldom review books but I really liked this one. There is only a small handful of murder novels published in English and set in contemporary China. Qiu Xiaolong not only devised a simple yet vivid plot but also engaged the reader about China's rapid economic development versus environmental trade-offs.


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