Jul 7, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: French Concession by Xiao Bai

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

French Concession: A Novel by Xiao Bai, published July 7, 2015 by Harper. 
Genre: historical fiction

Book opening:
Prelude: May 10, Year 20 of the Republic.2:24 A.M.  
The walls of the cabin were trembling. A steam whistle piped two shot blasts. Hsueh opened his eyes. He still had the covers pulled over his head, and the ebb and flow of waves sounded like thunder in a distant world. 
Publisher description:
"A literary noir, a tale of espionage and international intrigue, set in Shanghai in 1931—a decadent world of love, violence, and betrayal filled with femme fatales, criminals, revolutionaries, and spies

A boat from Hong Kong arrives in Shanghai harbor, carrying an important official in the Nationalist Party and his striking wife, Leng. Amid the raucous sound of firecrackers, gunshots ring out; an assassin has shot the official and then himself. Leng disappears in the ensuing chaos.

Hseuh, a Franco-Chinese photographer discovers that his lover Therese is secretly an arms dealer, supplying Shanghai’s gangs with weapons. His investigation of Therese eventually leads him back to Leng, a loyal revolutionary with ties to a menacing new gang, led by a charismatic Communist whose acts of violence and terrorism threaten the entire country.

His aptitude for espionage draws Hseuh into a dark underworld of mobsters, smugglers, anarchists, and assassins. Torn between Therese and Leng, he vows to protect them both. As the web of intrigue tightens around him, Hsueh plays a dangerous game, hoping to stay alive."

I find this period of time in China's history fascinating and am looking forward to reading it.

I received a proof of this book for review. 


Suko said...

Harvee, this book sounds quite interesting. I look forward to reading more about it.

Brian Joseph said...

This is a really interesting time in history.

The plot sounds really engaging and fun. The book sounds like it not just takes place in the 1930s but that plot elements borrow from stories told in that era.

I see why you are looking forward to this.

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