Tucked away from the building sites of modern hanghai are the beautiful mansions once owned by the smartest families in 1930s China. They have since been bought by rich businessmen and high-ranking members of the Communist Party. All except one.
The owner is an old painter. Each day he teaches his students, all beautiful girls in their twenties.
Each night he holds a glittering party: swing jazz plays for his former neighbours, who dance, remember old times and forget for an evening the terrors that followed. But questions are being asked. How can he afford such a lifestyle? His paintings? Blackmail? A triad connection? Prostitution?
Inspector Chen is asked to investigate discreetly what is going on behind the elegant façade. But, before he can get close to anyone, one of the girls is found murdered in the garden and another is terrified she will be next.
Chen's quest for answers will take Chen to a strange businessman, triads, Chairman Mao himself and a terrible secret the Party will go to any length to conceal.
Now a BBC Radio 4 Drama Series. 'The system has no place for a cop who puts justice above the interests of the Party. It's a miracle that I survived as long as I did.' For years, Chen Cao managed to balance the interests of the Communist Party and the demands made by his job. He was considered a rising star until, after one too many controversial cases that embarrassed powerful men, he found himself neutralised. Under the guise of a promotion, he's been stripped of his title and his influence, discredited and isolated. Soon it becomes clear that his enemies still aren't satisfied, and that someone is attempting to have him killed – quietly. Chen has been charged with the investigation into a 'Red Prince' – a high Party figure who embodies the ruthless ambition, greed and corruption that is on the rise in China. But with no power, few allies, and his own reputation and life on the line, he knows he is facing the most dangerous case of his career.
Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau is summoned by an official of the party to take the lead in a corruption investigation – one where the principle figure and his family have long since fled to the United States and beyond the reach of the Chinese government. But he left behind the organization and his partners-in-crime, and Inspector Chen is charged to uncover those responsible and act as necessary to end the corruption ring. In a twisting case that takes him from Shanghai, all the way to the U.S., reuniting him with his previous cohort from the U.S. Marshall's service – Inspector Catherine Rhon.
At once a compelling crime novel and a insightful, moving portrayal of everyday life, The Emperor's Sword is the next installment in the critically acclaimed, award-wining Inspector Chen series.
Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau is taking a vacation, in part because he is annoyed at his boss, the Party Secretary, but also because he has been made an offer he can't refuse by a triad-connected businessman. For what seems to be a fortune-with no apparent strings attached-he is to translate into English a business proposal for the New World, a complex of shops and restaurants to be built in Central Shanghai evoking nostalgia for the "glitter and glamour" of the '30s.
So Detective Yu, Chen's partner, is forced to take charge of a new investigation. A novelist has been murdered in her room. At first it seems that only a neighbor could have committed the crime, but when one confesses, Detective Yu cannot believe that he is really the murderer. As the policeman looks further, ample motives begin to surface, even on the part of Internal Security. But it is only when Inspector Chen steps back into the investigation that the real culprit is apprehended. And then Chen discovers how the triad has played him.
Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau and Inspector Catherine Rohn of the US Marshals service must work together to find a missing woman. She is married to an important witness in a US criminal case who has refused to testify unless his pregnant wife is allowed to join him. The Chinese government has reluctantly agreed to let her go and the Americans have sent a marshal to escort her. Then, inexplicably she vanishes…
Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department is often put in charge of politically sensitive cases. Having recently ruffled more than a few official feathers, when he is asked to look into a sensitive corruption case he takes immediate action – he goes on leave from work. But while on vacation, the body of a murdered young woman is found in a highly trafficked area and the only notable aspect is that she was redressed in a red mandarin dress. When a second body appears, this time in the People's Park, also in precisely the same kind of red mandarin dress, the newspapers start screaming that Shanghai is being stalked by its first sexual serial killer. With the Party anxious to resolve the murders quickly, Chen finds himself in the midst of his most potentially dangerous and sensitive case to date.