Now a BBC Radio 4 Drama Series.
Former dancer and party loyalist Wen Liping vanishes in rural China just before she was to leave the country. Her husband, a key witness against a smuggling ring suspected of importing aliens to the US, refuses to testify until she is found and brought to join him in America.
A few days later, a badly mutilated body turns up in Shanghai's Bund Park. It bears all the hallmarks of a triad killing.
The US immigration agency, convinced that the Chinese government are hiding something, send US Marshal Catherine Rohn to Shanghai to join the investigation.
Inspector Chen, an astute young policeman with twin passions for food and poetry, is under political pressure to find answers fast. When Catherine Rohn joins him he must decide what is more dangerous: to hide the truth, or to risk unleashing a scandal that could destroy his career.
Qiu Xiaolong (pronounced 'Joe Shau-long') was born in Shanghai. The Cultural Revolution began in his last year of elementary school, and out of school, out of job, he studied English by himself in a local park. In 1977, he began his studies at East China Normal University in Shanghai, and then the Chinese Academy of Social Science in Beijing. After graduation, he worked at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences as an associate research professor, published poems, translations and criticism, and became a member of the Chinese Writers' Association. In 1988, he came to Washington University in St. Louis, U.S. as a Ford foundation fellow to do a project on Eliot, but after the Tiananmen tragedy of 1989, he decided to stay on. He then obtained a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Washington University and taught there. Having won several awards for his poetry in English, he moved on to write a novel about contemporary Chinese society in transition, which developed into the critically acclaimed, award-winning Inspector Chen series. The series has been translated into sixteen languages. In addition, Qiu Xiaolong has published a poetry collection, several poetry translations, and a collection of linked stories (also serialized in Le Monde). He lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.