I started reading Qiu Xiaolong’s fourth Inspector Chen novel A Case Of Two Cities immediately after finishing When Red Is Black. In this novel, Inspector Chen is assigned to tackle a politically sensitive case and investigate corruption – fubai – among high ranking party members and influential businessmen. The case sees him re-united with his American counterpart Catherine Rohn (from the second novel A Loyal Character Dancer).
I found A Case Of Two Cities a much more engrossing read than When Red Is Black. Partly, this must be because of recently high profile arrests of senior party members in Shanghai. The plot is more tightly woven than Qiu’s previous novel and some of the action even takes place in America. Qiu once again delivers a very satisfactory conclusion to the story – the outcome comes across as plausible and Qiu does not succumb to sentimental solutions with regards to Chen and Catherine Rohn’s relationship.
A very fascinating read.