“BooknBlues said: 5 Stars
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.”