“Shanghai Redemption”: Investigating Murder, Sex, and Corruption

Qiu Xiaolong’s latest novel, Shanghai Redemption, takes the protagonist Inspector Chen Cao on new adventures deep inside the Chinese Communist Party. Qiu, who lives in St. Louis but writes trenchantly about contemporary Chinese issues, took inspiration for his latest – the ninth Inspector Chen novel in the series – from the case of Bo Xilai. There’s sex, murder, and a power struggle, all of which illuminate just a little of the opaque world of China’s political elite. Qiu “is neither a police officer nor a Communist Party official,” writes Edward Wong for the New York Times’s China blog, Sinosphere, “but his novels about Inspector Chen Cao… convey such a sense of realism that many people have come to regard him as an expert on the more sordid aspects of the Chinese political and legal systems.”