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Bad Traffic: An Inspector Jian Novel (2008)

by Simon Lewis(Favorite Author)
3.52 of 5 Votes: 3
1416593535 (ISBN13: 9781416593539)
review 1: The premise for Bad Traffic is a good one: both privileged and peasant Chinese struggling to find their place in a new country with limited English and understanding of the culture. It enables Lewis to both explore the differing Chinese experiences of Britain and to give an impression of Britain through the eyes of others, and to also give some insight into modern China. It’s an opportunity he doesn’t waste, providing an engaging and unsettling tale of the illegal immigrant experience and the gang’s who run the trafficking routes. To do so, Lewis regularly switches the perspective of the narrative between the principle characters, all of whom are well portrayed. His prose is all show and no tell, driven along by dialogue and action, with the story told through a ... moreseries of short, punchy chapters. The plot is generally well constructed, but sometimes strays a little too close to farce and plot devices designed to keep the caper nature of the story moving along. They work to alleviate what is essentially a dark tale, but also nibble away at the credibility of some elements of the tale. Nevertheless this is a well written, unsettling and entertaining read that manages to find a fresh angle on the contemporary British crime novel.
review 2: The author is originally from Wales and Scotland, but now he spends only a part of the year in London and the rest in Japan and China. He's a backpacker and I assume much of his knowledge of the people he portrays is from people he has met and had dealings with. I think he is trying to portray the cultural clash as well. The story revolves around the illegals coming to the UK. Their transportation debt is to be worked off, and they are literally owned until they so do. This one comes to a head when a Chinese policeman of high standing realizes his daughter is in really trouble in the U.S. and drops everything and heads to UK, supposedly as part of a govt. oil junket...no knowledge of language even to get her. He is a familiar intelligent and stubborn type of character, and you understand and respect determination, but he pretty dogmatic and difficult to like. And he thinks well on his feet. On the opposite hand in the truck with the refugees packed in is a young peasant and his wife, too, trying to do right by the situation and make it work. He's your maudlin, low key character, to say the least, not assertive and almost overboard to please. Obviously intelligent, though...college english for teaching until somebody whose family had more clout was put in the school and he was forced to leave. He speaks English, but not well. Enough though... And due to circumstances and the story twists, they meet...and have to reluctantly work together under harrowing circumstances. Has a really upbeat end, and through the process, you find yourself liking and respecting them much more. less
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Seems like the beginning of a series/character. I could well be up for more.
Kötü.. Kötü.. Kötü işte!!
good, suspenseful "noir"
Inspector Jian
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