So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Death of a Red Heroine

Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong
Set in Shanghai one year after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, Death of a Red Heroine is a police murder mystery that gets overshadowed by the political implications of the case. In a time when Communist Party ideals were being challenged by new marketplace values, the police detectives have to navigate political implications as well as follow the clues in order to solve the case. The city itself is a major character as the case takes us from the palatial homes of the Communist Party elite to the families of workers living in single rooms and sharing communal kitchens. But above all, the book is about honest cops trying to do the right thing in a shifting moral environment.
If you like to visit different times and cultures through well-written books, this may appeal to you. As a Best First Novel it was nominated for an Edgar Award and received an Anthony Award. The author was a Chinese scholar born in Shanghai who was studying in the USA at the time of the Tiananmen Square protests. He stayed in the USA and this was his first mystery novel in English.