Interesting novel set in Taiwan. The protagonist, Jing-naan, runs a food stand in Shilin Night Market in Taipei but once had aspirations for mor..Show More »e. He attended UCLA briefly until his returns to Taiwan to fulfill family obligations. After the death of his girlfriend, Julia, whom he had not seen for years, he becomes an unlikely detective, pursuing justice at the bequest of the Julia's parents.
The best part of this novel is the description of the Taiwan, especially of the night market -- the culture, the sights, smells and the FOOD. Even when Jing-naan travels outside the market, the food descriptors follow him (most memorable -- "clouds the color of rancid, fatty meat".)
I enjoyed hearing the expositions on the history of Taiwan and its people, but there was too much, which slowed down the story and made the mystery seem secondary (or tertiary.) There were episodes of good suspense, clever writing and humorous dialogue, though and the characters in the night market were interesting, although they seemed like caricatures.
This was enjoyable, but mostly due to the descriptions of the setting and its history. If you are looking for a riveting mystery, you might want to skip this one.
Feodor Chin, the narrator does fine job, especially with the protagonist and other male characters.