First look: New Chinese crime fiction

1 Mins read
cover of The Borrowed by Chan Ho-Kai

It’s been an exciting summer for virtual travel through the medium of crime fiction. We’ve been all over the States, to France and Poland, and Japanese crime fiction is really starting to fizz. Next stop… Hong Kong. And here’s the airplane that’s going to transport us there – The Borrowed, written by Chan Ho-Kei and translated by Jeremy Tiang.

The cover has a wonderfully vertical arrangement to its design, just like the architecture of the city it is set in. The year is 2013 and a ageing detective is dying. For 50 years, Inspector Kwan has been solving crimes while the Hong Kong, China, and the wider world, changed around him. When his partner, Detective Lok, comes to his deathbed to ask for help, Kwan is tempted into one more case. But this isn’t just any case. As the detectives discover, it’s one that locks into five of Kwan’s previous investigations spanning his 50 on the force.

Publisher Head of Zeus is promising something epic here, with themes including love, honour, race, class, jealousy and revenge. It’s the story of Hong Kong, and it’s from an author who’s designed games, edited manga, lectured and won the Soji Shimada Mystery Prize. Apparently, that’s regarded as the world’s top Chinese-language mystery writing award (even though Soji Shimada is Japanese).

The hardcover and Kindle versions will be available at £18.99 and £5.03 respectively. Enjoy our first look at this novel, and pre-order your copy below.

Chinese crime fiction, The Borrowed, Chan Ho-Kei
Chinese crime fiction, The Borrowed, Chan Ho-Kei
Chinese crime fiction, The Borrowed, Chan Ho-Kei

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