A Gorky Park for our time: A complex, suspenseful, beautifully written novel, set largely in Beijing, in which a Chinese cop and an American DA together uncover the conspiracy of Chinese gangs, government and big business that lies behind a series of high-profile murders. She rips the veil away from modern China its venerable culture, its teeming economy, its omnipotent mafia, its institutionalized cruelty as no other author ever has or ever could. On a wintry day in Beijing, the U.S. Ambassador's son is found dead entombed in a frozen lake. Almost simultaneously, officials find a boat adrift in the storm-churned waters off Southern California. Nobody is surprised to find the fetid hold crammed with hundreds of undocumented Chinese immigrants the latest cargo in the Chinese Mafia's burgeoning smuggling trade. What does surprise U.S. District Attorney David Starke is his discovery that among the hapless refugees lies the corpse of a "Red Prince," the name given to a child of China's political elite. The Chinese and American governments both suspect that the deaths are linked and, in a first-of-its-kind move, they join forces to solve this cross-cultural crime. Stone heads for Beijing to team up with Liu Hulan, a police detective whose disdain for the Chinese system is tolerated only because she is a spectacular investigator. Their investigation carries them (and us) into virtually every corner of today's China from the glitzy karaoke bars where government leaders and mafia kingpins make their most unsavory deals, to Beijing's labyrinthine hutongs, where working-class Chinese have lived out their lives for centuries. Here is China as readers have never seen it, a surpassingly strange nation at once admirable and frightening. Here too is an utterly original story more taut and timely than anything else on the fiction shelves today.