Don't Cry, Tai Lake (Inspector Chen Series #7)

Don't Cry, Tai Lake (Inspector Chen Series #7)

by Qiu Xiaolong

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Don't Cry, Tai Lake: An Inspector Chen Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Denise701 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Don't Cry, Tai Lake, Qiu Xiaolong's detective, Inspector Chen, investigates the murder of the head of a state-run chemical company that is about to go public. Chen is supposed to be on vacation--a vacation arranged for him by his mentor, Comrade Secretary Zhao. Apparently, Zhao wants to bring the lake's pollution to the attention of the Party, so he needs Chen to visit Wuxi and write a report on what he finds there (which in this case is murder).Chen not only finds a murder mystery, but a romance, too, with a young environmental scientist, Shanshan. There is a air of nostalgia about the entire novel, partly because of Chen's own backstory, but also because of his frequent references to poetry, both Chinese and western. There is also the contrast between the appearance of the lake and its hidden but serious environmental problems because of China's boom in terms of development.I enjoyed the book, not so much because of the mystery, but because of Chen himself as a character and because of his poetry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been reading his work for over ten years. He has replaced Orwell as my favorite author. I find the mysteries to be secondary to an exploration of China's culture and politics, but Don't Cry Tai Lake had an added features because for the first time he has really moved me emotionally. I think many readers will she'd a tear.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
obeythekitty More than 1 year ago
this series seems to be getting a bit tired, although the subject is timely, the longer the author lives in the US, the less he seems in touch with Shanghai life
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
While ostensibly a murder mystery, this latest Inspector Chen novel is more a polemic concerning excessive pollution, economic growth at any cost and the political and social system in China today. Still, it is so well-written, filled with poetic references as an integral part of the whole, that it is a worthy addition to the series. Initially, Chen is invited to spend some vacation time at an exclusive resort for upper cadre (of which he isn’t one) by his mentor in Beijing who was scheduled to use a villa there. So, right off the bat, the author offers observations on how the upper layers of officials benefit, while the rest of the population doesn’t have such luxuries. Then Chen learns that the once pure waters of Tai Lake have become so polluted that fish are destroyed, the water can’t be drunk and even causes illness to inhabitants. The pollution is caused by industrial waste, unimpeded in the interest of profits and “progress.” No sooner does Chen arrive than the general manager of a large chemical company is found murdered and Chen becomes involved, without disclosing himself as a Chief Inspector, in an unofficial investigation. He learns about the pollution from a young female engineer, and works behind the façade of a local policeman, observing, questioning and deducting in typical Chen fashion, including a long T.S. Elliot-type poem about the lake. Other than the murder solution, the criticism of societal and economic conditions in China is anything but subtle. [I wonder if the novel will ever be translated into Chinese.] Here, it is recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The inspector appears in other stories as well, but typically in Shanghai. This one takes place in a smaller city near a very polluted lake while the inspector is supposedly on vacation. The characters are interesting, the plot relevant, and I enjoyed the political commentary without it getting in the way of the plot. It was great to read a story in China and realize that people murder each other over the same things in every land.