BOOK READ 1367 By Chan Ho–Kei AUTHOR Chan Ho–Kei – ecogenlife.org
Er has cringe y English names Honey Candy Apple or cringe y nicknames and labels Eye of the Heaven Boss man they re all aspects of this incredibly fascinating nation that straddles the East and the West One thing I loved most about the book was how the places mentioned in the book evoke than just images of the places themselves I could imagine myself looking for clues in Sham Shui Po or running down Mong Kok and pondering about cases in the Yau Tsim district I KNOW all these places They are home to me They re all jigsaw puzzles that fit together to form Hong Kong and each of these little districts has their own culture reflects its own version of the past and yet is irrevocably connected to the city s present And this book absolutely gets itMong Kok was dazzling as always The multicoloured neon lights glittering shop windows throngs of pedestrians as if the city knew no night This bustling scene was a microcosm of Hong Kong a city that relied on finance and consumption for survival though these pillars were not as sturdy as people supposed In recent years nemployment was Behind Closed Doors (Made in Montana, up and growth was slowing and the government s performance was slipping almost ripping through the veneer of a flourishing economy Mong Kok was like an engine that couldn t stop running fuelled by cash day and night and when the legal sources of this fuel ran dry dirty money came in to fill the tankOnly a HK book would ever attempt such a gut wretchingly beautiful description of a place by connecting it to words that are the antithesis of poetry finance dirty moneynemployment The Borrowed is an engaging book that chronicles the life of an extraordinary Hong Kong based detective through piecing together seven novellas each reporting on an intriguing case that slowly reveals exactly how talented he is By doing do the book navigates its way through the history of Hong Kong policing It details how it has changed and developed over the years by going backwards in time we see how far things have come And this is a real clever techniue not one I have seen before in fiction The book begins with its protagonist on death s door The Marshals Pursuit unable to work Senior inspector Kwan Chun dok can only consult junior detectives through the help of some rather advanced technology that allows him to communicate despite being in a coma Regardless he still proves a great help in the case Not even death can stop him As the book goes back in time we see the inspector in all his glory He has the skill and intelligence to match either Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot earning the alias The Eye of Heaven because of his intuitive perceptiveness Like the two great investigators he is willing to look outside of the law to find his solution when necessary and he is always ahead of hisarry The reader is not aware of all the facts but Kwan Chun dok has already pieced the clues together What follows is a big reveal at the end of most of the sections Each part is a little different and each full of mystery and intrigue and they are all genuinely exciting to read about Other than exceling at characterising the detective and filling the novellas with heaps of suspense Chan Ho Kei s time shifts also provide a social picture of China and the people that have lived there over the decades This is than just a thrilling detective drama The story goes back by fifty years chronicling the aftermath of communism poverty and captures the brutality of vicious gangs like the triads Kwan Chun dok navigates his way through the social issues as he tries to solve his cases The book does wonders at capturing the city a city that is rich in its own culture And the culture is varied There is no Mistresses unifying sense of identity but a collection of smaller spaces that are linked to the history of China as whole but together help to create part of the present Chan Ho Kei does not tell his story with flowery or glittery prose he is certainly not a flashy writer but what he does do is report exactly on the things his characters see think and smell It gives a sense of realness to the writing a sense of realness to the city and the people that inhabit it He also has natural ear for dialogue and all the clumsiness can come with real speech Through his words I feel like I have walked the streets and witnessed how alive and fast Hong Kong can be And for me that s a real feat of writing It is totally immersive An interesting book which starts at the end of the life of the main character who dies of cancer Going back in a series of short stories the book covers the career of Kwan Chun dok and hisnnerving capability of deduction to solve various crimes Often the motives behind the crimes are complex and Kwan adopts some Made of Honor unorthodox ways to solve the various conundrums The book also covers some significant events in recent Hong Kong history andestions the direction the HK police force is taking ite an interesting book When I know a reader is into intricate puzzle mysteries or a fan of Poirot or Sherlock I often send them to Keigo Higashino And now I will also happily send them to THE BORROWED a rather brilliant collection of puzzle mysteries that s also a pointed look at the social and Istory the novel follows Kwan from his experiences during the Leftist Riot in 1967 when a bombing plot threatens many lives; the conflict between the HK Police and ICAC Independent Commission Against Corruption in 1977; the Tiananmen Suare Massacre in 1989; the Handover in 1997; and the present day of 2013 when Kwan is called on to solve his final case the murder of a local billionaire while Hong Kong increasingly resembles a police state Along the way we meet Communist rioters ltravio.
Loved this interwoven mix of stories with one full focus from Chan Ho Kei Full review to follow ARC received from Netgalley Rating 5One Sentence Summary A policeman in Hong Kong investigates different crimes over several decades Review When I saw that this book was essentially a crime novel set in Hong Kong I knew I had to read it It was cleverly structured essentially made The Substitute Groom (Hawks Way up of six short stories set at different times during Hong Kong s recent history and during different stages of the policeman Kwan Chun dok s careerThe book draws you into the world of Hong Kong showcasing different locations culture and history I really felt like I was there with Kwan Chun dok investigating the crimes which all had twists and surprises that you don t see coming I am always on the lookout for books set in Hong Kong so I hope the author writes books soon like a 38 roundedplonger post here length of this book may seem daunting and potential readers may be wondering if a good mysterycrime novel can actually sustain itself over nearly 500 pages I had the same concern myself but the author s done something very different here that put my worries to rest Instead of one long narrative he offers s six shorter ones all connected via the main character and Hong Kong itself ranging from 2013 to 1967 No I did not mean 1967 to 2013 this book runs chronologically backwards The Borrowed is a series of six crime puzzles to be solved combined with a hefty dose of social realism it s also a page turner with lots of nexpected twists along the way At the end of this book the author explains that his original intention was to write a classic detective novel but decided against a book solely focused on criminal cases Instead he says his idea was to write the story of a personality a city and an era This pivot culminated in a series of six stand alone novellaseach one fuelled by mysteries and clues but all six fitting together to form a complete portrait of society The crime solving aspects of this book are highly original at least in comparison to most police procedural novels I ve encountered I have to admit that the first story The Truth Between Black and White 2013 nearly sent this book flying across the room because of what I felt was a wholly nbelievable premise Cue inner groaning and eyeroll However I stuck with it and was rewarded with a big laugh it seems that the joke was entirely on me I mention this bit of information because what happens here might cause other serious crime readers to have my same reaction so hang in there And while they re all ite good my favorite of the six is The Prisoner s Dilemma 2003 which involves the struggle between two major triads drugs and the case of a missing young woman The major twist in this tale blew me away completely The Missing Heir using a device that I thought was a stroke of genius on the author s part The Borrowed is definitely a no miss book for readers who enjoy moving well out of the crime fiction mainstream and into something completely different And while I don t think it s perfect it endedp being a page turner that I absolutely could not put down once I started it in earnest Its originality will shake anyone out of his or her mainstream crime reading rut for sure after you read it standard crime fiction fare will seem blah and tame afterwards LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THIS IS IT THIS IS ITTHIS IS FUCKING IT This is not a book SET in Hong Kong This IS Hong Kong Never before have I read a book that so clearly encapsulates what Hong Kong is all about with its gritty culture the glamour the gap between the rich and the poor the fight for justice and the struggle for well being This is Hong Kong with all of its glory and struggles its troubled past and even troubled future This is Hong KongThis is not a book you would want to read if you re looking for poetic literary prose No the writing in The Borrowed is astute dry and matter of fact the sentences are clipped Heart Of Stone (Morgans Mercenaries, unnecessary fluff and detail razored off leaving behind nothing but the bare bones of text and the core of what is to be said And yetnderneath all this are hints of a sharp wit and lighthearted jest But this writing is exactly what Hong Kong is about fast paced pragmatic impersonal and yet heavily dripping with irony and cunning This is a hard city that waits for no one a city of survivors who built a megalopolis from nothing but the sweat of their tears the clothes off their backs and the sharpness of their acumenNow onto the story Hong Kong has always been one to revere their public organs just take a look at how many TVB shows centre on variations of the police force and the judiciary Those who are not Deanna Raybourn Lady Julia Grey Volume 2: Dark Road to Darjeeling\The Dark Enquiry\Silent Night bonus story (A Lady Julia Grey Mystery) used to Hong Kong will find The Borrowed rather odd in that respect particularly with its focus on justice honour duty The six interlocking stories of Superintendent Kwan s and Sonny Lok s cases really attack the heart of Hong Kong s darknderbelly of real estate tycoons and Triad bosses and corruption and rising superstars It reminded me a lot of all of my favourite TV shows Brother s Keeper Ghetto s Justice Line Walker Forensic Heroes Everything from the way the scene is set to the fact that everyone eith. From award winning Hong Kong writer Chan Ho kei The Borrowed tells the story of Kwan Chun dok a Hong Kong detective who rises from constable to senior inspector over the span of several decades from the 1960s to the present day and becomes a legend in the force nicknamed “the Eye of Heaven” by his amazed colleagues Divided into six sections told in reverse chronological order each of which covers an important case in Kwan’s career and takes place at a pivotal moment in Hong Kong
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Olitical shifts in Hong Kong over the last 50 years A very satisfying and rewarding mystery that rewards almost any kind of mystery fanSometimes I shy away from a mystery that isn t just one big mystery THE BORROWED is actually divided into 6 separate mysteries moving from present to past but always following the same brilliant detective It starts off with the flashiest story of the bunch with a comatose detective interrogating a limited set of suspects from his hospital room It s a strong start and leaves you ready for the kind of mental tricks you can expect from Detective Kwan and his protege Sonny Ko Some of the cases are tied together sometimes there are little callbacks but this isn t six similar stories They differ wildly in style sometimes following Kwan in close third person sometimes following others and even shifting to first person Some cases are about gangs others are small and domestic but there s also police corruption and political violence This book gives you some of everything while always keeping your faith in Kwan to solve the caseIt s rare you get a puzzle mystery that s 500 pages long but here you can sit back and enjoy your immersion in the book while also getting the divisions in time as distinct breaks Just a real gem of a book it s going to be one I recommend a lot in the future Interesting premise in that we re introduced to Kwan Chun dok the Eye of Heaven He s a detective with the Hong Kong Police Force an Asian Sherlock Holmes that has a 100% success rate But we meet him not only at the end of his career but his life as well as he helps solve one last case The first story stretches believability a bit but stick around because Chan Ho Kei recounts Kwan s 50 year career in reverse chronological order over the course of six separate stories Each story leaves slight clues in the text for the reader to Not Our Kind unravel the mystery but of course it s Kwan Chun dok that deftly gets to the truth What sniue is that Kwan is a truly good character He s not damaged goods harbouring a secret gambling addiction or haunted by some dark past event And while he may think outside the box he s still an officer of the law working within a larger bureaucratic system and ascending through the ranks A chewy mystery book in translation that proved a wonderful diversion This book is an excellent collection of six novellas that take place in Hong Kong over a space of almost fifty years 1967 2013 All of them center on one or both police officers Sonny Lok and Kwan Chun dok Kwan is known as Eye of Heaven or Genius Detective because of his legendary ability to solve crimes Kwan solves crimes by deduction ala Sherlock Holmes Each of the six novellas is an intricately crafted puzzle I did not realize who the culprits were Montana Reunion (Big Sky Centennial, until the end in each If you enjoy Conan Doyle s books you will enjoy this bookOneote Sonny waging psychological war against a suspect is like playing poker you have to mislead them about your hand I rate it a solid 4 out of 5 stars Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me this book Meet senior inspector Kwan Chun dok the Hercule Poirot of Hong Kong You will get to know him by immersing yourself in a reversed journey through than 50 years of his successful career as a police officer in Hong Kong His deductive skills are like no other s being nicknamed the Eye of Heaven Another trait that makes him such a successful investigator is that he is inclined to think outside the box and bend the law a little bit in order to deceive and catch criminals The book is structured in 6 novellas which start from the 2013 with Kwan Chun dok s last case solved while he lays in a coma Each novella goes back a few years in time in time The Deepest Roots until we reach the 60 when we meet the inspector at the beginning of his career Each case isniue and has its twists and turns Moreover there are connections between the cases locations and characters that after finishing the book I felt like the last part completed the circle started by the first one I compared Chan Ho Kei s character with Hercule Poirot because he is pictured always a step ahead of the others and the novellas end with a big reveal Christie s style Although the mysteries are fun to read on their own the author is also trying to sketch a social picture of Hong Kong its history its struggles and of the people that live there thorough the decades I learned about the clashes between the Brits and the Communist China the triads and the war on drugs the life of the poor Hongkongers For me it was especially interesting to read Chan Ho Kei s novel since Hong Kong is one of the cities that I like and I would love to return to Some of the locations in this book sounded familiar and reminded me about places that I saw I did not give the book 5 stars because I thought that at times the inspector was irritatingly smart and there were some cliche Hollywood style scenes eg A motorcycle chase through a busy market I also had to focus real hard to differentiate between the names of the characters as they were all long and sounded the same Many thanks to Chan Ho Kei Grove Atlantic and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest revie. Lent gangsters stallholders at the city’s many covered markets pop singers enmeshed in the high stakes machinery of star making and a people always caught in the shifting balance of political power whether in London or BeijingThe Borrowed reveals just how closely everything is connected how history always repeats itself and how we have come full circle to repeat the political Roped Into Romance (www.gIRL-gEAR upheaval and societalnrest of the past It is a gripping brilliantly constructed novel from a talented new voic.
Chan Ho Kei 陳浩基 was born and raised in Hong Kong He has worked as software engineer scriptwriter game designer and editor of comic magazines His writing career started in 2008 at the age of thirty three with the short story ‘The Case of Jack and the Beanstalk’ which was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of Taiwan Award He went on to win the award again the following year with ‘The Locked