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Don't Cry, Tai Lake: An Inspector Chen Novel (Inspector Chen Cao) [Kindle Edition]

Qiu Xiaolong
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“Thought-provoking, poetic and suspenseful.” –The Wall Street Journal 

“A meticulously crafted whodunit.” –The Japan Times 

“Enjoyable!” –Publishers Weekly 

“This environmental mystery is also an example of hard-hitting investigative reporting…. Despite the grim subject matter, the novel is filled with beautiful descriptions and poetry (Chen is poet as well as detective) that reinforce the beauty that is being polluted and lost. Magnificent.” –Booklist (starred)

"Peppered with poetry and told with clarity and elegance."–Kirkus Reviews


“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.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 750 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 273 Seiten
  • Verlag: Minotaur Books (8. Mai 2012)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #55.038 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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4.5 von 5 Sternen
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Intelligent, interesting and moving crime stories. 14. August 2013
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Qiu Xiaolong writes intelligent, interesting and moving crime stories, partial based on his own experiences in modern China with people still feeling the scars of the inhuman government decisions during the last century.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Don't Cry, Tai Lake 31. März 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
As usual, an interesting and nicely presented story with Inspector Chen Cao. An underlying criticism to the actual problems in China about water and air pollution and corruption. Scary in a certain way, because these problems are not limited only to China.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.0 von 5 Sternen  44 Rezensionen
24 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A murky murder by a dying lake 14. Mai 2012
Von Patto - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
There's absolutely nothing like a Chief Inspector Chen novel. He quotes ancient Chinese poetry to subordinates and even to suspects. In the midst of passion, his mind turns to the classical euphemism for lovemaking: clouds and rain. And in the throes of an investigation he finds himself writing fragments of an epic poem.

The murder in this book is not actually his concern. Chen is vacationing at a gated resort for high-level Party members in the tourist town of Wuxi on legendary Tai Lake. He learns about the crime while flirting with a young woman named Shanshan, an environmental engineer at a big chemical company. The CEO has just been murdered, and Shanshan herself, being a troublesome environmentalist, is considered a suspicious person.

Captivated by Shanshan's youthful idealism, Chen works behind the scenes to protect her - and ultimately to investigate the murder. The various characters give us a picture of life inside the new materialistic China: the victim Liu, driven by greed to increase profits at any cost to the environment; his mahjong-playing wife who puts "face" above all else; the "little secretary" who works under Liu in every sense; the political activist Jiang, who may also be a blackmailer...

Chen feels sure all these people are connected and interconnected "in a long chain of yin/yang causality" - but how? Chen ponders the mystery over cups of Cloud and Mist tea and bowls of noodles and stinky tofu. He acquires an admiring and somewhat amusing Watson to help him secretly with his inquiries - a young Wuxi police sergeant whose head is full of Sherlock Holmes stories.

I've read every Inspector Chen novel and recommend them all - with enthusiasm. Don't Cry, Lake Tai is a novel of dissent, focusing as it does on the deadly pollution of China's major rivers and lakes. But it's also true literature. Qiu Xiaolong is a poet and writes exquisitely. In his hands a murder mystery becomes an aesthetic pleasure, and social protest is as haunting as a boatman's age-old song.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen I've enjoyed the entire series but feel this is one of Qui's best books. 6. Juli 2012
Von L. J. Roberts - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
First Sentence: Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau found himself standing in front of the gate to the Wuxi Cadre Recreation Center.

Chief Inspector Chen Cao is surprised, pleased and a bit suspicious when he is given an unexpected vacation at a resort reserved for only those of high cadre; influence and/or power. The exclusive resort is located on the once very beautiful and pristine Tai Lake but chemical dumping and greed for wealth are changing that. One of the executives is murdered and a young woman Chen has come to know is being blamed. It is up to Chen to find the truth before she, or her friend, are taken off to prison.

With a tranquil beginning, we are immediately brought into a different world where we learn the importance of rank. Qui excels establishing a strong sense of place. From him we see, hear, smell and taste China. There are wonderful descriptions of the food, which are enhanced by stories of the history behind some of the dishes reminding us just how old is the culture of China.

Chen is fascinating and wonderful character. He's a policeman who had no desire to be a policeman. He's a poet and translator of books, particularly mysteries, from English into Chinese. But he is also dedicated to do his job the best he can, realizing its importance. It's enjoyable to see the local policeman, Sergeant Haung, admiration of Chen and his comparisons of Chen to Sherlock Holmes. Chen is a man of integrity. Although he is attracted to a female character, he knows he must not violate his responsibility as a cop. Poetry and quotation have a significant place in the story. Even the love scene is lyrically described.

We learn details of its history and customs; from the "hair" salons to environmental issues of today. In particular, it is about the changing China, economics and what a company, if permitted, will do to increase its value to increase wealth for its executives. [Chen]"Why are people capable of doing anything just for the sake of money? A partial answer might be the collapse of the ethical system..." It's prophetic in we see the result of a non-regulated industry, yet it never becomes preach-y.

It is also interesting to see the way in which now having some freedom of religion impacts the people of today's China. We forget that religion was banned under strict communism so when two of the supporting characters attend a church service it is a new experience for them. However, there is still the strong importance of "saving face".

There is a redundancy in the constant reminder that the complex is only for those of high cadre of a certain rank and that Chen is only there because of his connection to such a person. However, this also supports Chen's personality that he would be very much aware of that fact.

"Don't Cry, Tai Lake" concludes with a wonderful, touching ending. The final revelation as to the solution of the case is summed up best by Officer Huang "The clues are all there, but it takes a master to connect them,". However, even with the murder solved, the story shows the insular nature of China against the West. I've enjoyed the entire series but feel this is one of Qui's best books.

DON'T CRY, TAI LAKE (Pol Proc-CI Chen Cao-Shanghai, China-Contemporary) - VG
Xiaolong, Qiu - 7th in series
Minotaur Books, 2012
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Qiu Xiaolong does it again 29. September 2012
Von booknblueslady - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I was excited to learn that Qiu Xiaolong had written another Inspector Chen book, so I rushed to purchase Don't Cry Tai Lake and it did not disappoint. I've read all the other of the series and appreciate the development of the characters stories through out. I love the story of Inspector Chen an up and coming cadre who has a degree in English, translates mystery stories for additional funds, writes poetry, is a gourmet, a policeman and cannot seem to get his love life together. Then there is his partner Yu who with his wife Peiqin has struggled to create a better life for themselves and their son.

In Don't Cry Tai Lake Inspector Chen is given a vacation at an exclusive resort by his mentor Comrade Secretary Zhao. It does,of course, have strings attached. Zhao wants him to prepare a report about the area of Tai Lake in Wuxi.

This book comes with the usual poetry, descriptions of food and its preparations and the description of what life is like in China. It gives the reader a real look at the problems facing modern China with its rapid expansion of industry and its push to commercialism and the costs involved with it. The beautiful Tai Lake has become polluted and Chen's new friend Shanshan and environmentalist is unpopular because her reports go against the "progress" of the area and are seen as a stumbling block to the regions' productivity and wealth.

This book does much to continue the story of Inspector Chen and we find him having a moral dilemma of the heart with his concern for Shanshan, the young environmentalist. He also struggles with what he will say to Comrade Secretary Zhao in his report as pollution is a very real problem which effects the health of both the citizens and the environment but it is not a popular problem to be addressed.

My one disappointment was that Detective Yu and his wife played only a small role in this, but perhaps I can hope that the next in the series will give him a broader focus.

If you haven't discovered this series, I encourage all to give it a try but start with the first, Death of a Red Heroine.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Should have taken a "staycation" 18. August 2012
Von Grey Wolffe - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Being a student of Confucius, Chen is not one to look a 'gift horse in the mouth'. But when he is offered a 'free' vacation at a famous resort reserved for high cadre by Comrade Secretary Zhao, Chen packs his bags and is on his way. Zhao has only one request, that is if Chen notices anything 'interesting' while at Tai Lake, he should write a report about it. When he gets to the resort Chen finds that he has been given his own private villa that has nine rooms and its' own staff to cater to all he needs and wishes. All this opulence is a little off putting to Chen.

At the resort he hears about the murder of a local factory manager. The chemical factory is in the process of becoming privatized and an IPO is being prepared that would make the manager a multi-millionaire. When Chen sneaks out of the resort so as to see the city of Wuxi for himself he ends up in the old city eating at a little out of the way street vendor. He talks with the vendor about the changes to the area, and especially the polluting of the once crystal clear waters of Tai Lake. It has gotten so bad that people can't drink the water or eat the fish from the lake. At the vendor he meets a women who is the environmental engineer for the company of the murdered manager which is also the biggest polluter in the area.

While speaking with the engineer he also becomes acquainted with one of the local cops who is a 'fan' of Chen's detective novel translations. With the help of the cop and the engineer Chen is able to solve the murder. Big surprise, the engineer is a 'beauty' whom he falls in love with but has to step back from because she must help a friend who is in trouble. Chen's report to Secretary Zhao will shake up some people of the High Cadre as to the damage that is being done to the environment by China's rush to modernize, but thinks little will come of it in the long run. Probably the best of the last five in the series.

Zeb Kantrowitz
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Chief Inspector Cao Chen Gets Laid 18. September 2012
Von I. Klein - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Qiu Xiaolong's Comrade Chief Inspector Cao Chen continues his adventures while providing very good and honest description of how things work in China today. We learn two important things about Cao Chen: (1) his political patron is none other than the former chief of Internal Security, that is, the Chinese Cheka. If judging from the Soviet model, this organization is the regime's hard core and in case of crisis, it surfaces and takes naked power, like Andropov. Or like Vladimir Putin, who is the same organization's front man. (2) unlike in former adventures, the sexual duties of the "little secretary" are revealed and also we learn that Chen former Maoist puritanism has been corrupted and he beds Shanshan, a girl he is investigating as suspect of murder. But is not only Chen who has been corrupted, it is the whole Chinese society. Qiu inserts several sermons trying to justify the general corruption of the Party, saying that people's lives had improved and that socialist ownership of the means of production has failed and things have to be owned by somebody. Poisoning the environment is a byproduct of industrialization and Chen's Beijing patron promises that they will leave a rich and clean China to their successors. The book, therefore, can be seen as a sophisticated propaganda piece where Qiu tries to solve the difficult contradiction of the Chinese Communist Party's sincere patriotism with its absolute and general corruption. Anyone doing business in China should read all the Chief Inspector Cao Chen series; he will learn more about China today than reading CIA's country books.
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