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The Interior (Red Princess #2)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  1,876 ratings  ·  189 reviews
In our world, two years have passed since the publication of Flower Net, Lisa See's debut in thriller fiction, but as The Interior begins, only a few months have passed since Liu Hulan, a detective in Communist China's Ministry of Public Security, and U.S. Attorney David Stark first teamed up to catch a murderer--and rekindled their old love affair. Now, as David struggles ...more
Paperback, 431 pages
Published 2000 by Arrow Books (first published 1999)
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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa SeeThe Good Earth by Pearl S. BuckThe Joy Luck Club by Amy TanShanghai Girls by Lisa SeeThe Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
Best Novels That Take Place in China
105th out of 276 books — 756 voters
Dragon Bones by Lisa SeeDeath of a Red Heroine by Qiu XiaolongRed Mandarin Dress by Qiu XiaolongWhen Red Is Black by Qiu XiaolongA Case of Two Cities by Qiu Xiaolong
Asian mystery
50th out of 157 books — 38 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I have a theory that Lisa See packed all she wanted to say about modern China into her three detective novels about Inspector Liu Hulan, the "red princess" of the series title, then went back to the historical romances she prefers. And her detective writing was improving; the third one, Dragon Bones, is quite a bit better than this second one. She tells a good story, though she doesn't always tell it well. She is strongest when in the throes of a dialogue on legal niceties or political issues, w ...more
Graham Crawford
Lisa See is a pedestrian writer who has a lot of interesting things to say about late 20th Century China and social justice issues. For the most part I can forgive her lack of ability because 2/3 of this book is packed with well researched information - village life in the interior, factory exploitation, & surviving the Cultural Revolution. It's pretty obvious she wants to use the Crime novel genre to bring this world to a wider audience (and higher sales!). I just wish she could write ficti ...more
This is a classic "wish I could give half a star" book; 2.5 stars is what I want to give. See's work is an interesting combo -- fairly lousy dialogue and clunky exposition paired with good-enough plotting and a truly fascinating inside look at contemporary Chinese society. I loved reading the details of how people eat, travel, relate to each other so I just gritted my teeth through the awkward points (myriad).
A second mystery by the author of Snow Flower & the Secret Fan, Peony In Love, Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy, as well as my , Flower Net. In fact, this can be said to be the second in a series behind Flower Net, b/c it has the same main characters, Hulan (a Chinese investigator) and David (a US attorney). This time, Hulan, still in China, is expecting David’s baby and David, back in the States, is eager for a job opportunity that would bring him back to China. When his former boss and law ...more
David Stark, an attorney, is asked to open a law office in Beijing, China. Liu Hulan, David's lover, is asked by an old friend to investigate the death of her daughter. The daughter worked at an American owned toy factory that is about to be sold to David's client Tartan Enterprises. Hulan goes undercover at the toy factory. There she is forced to face her past, which she has long been avoiding. Hulan finds more questions than answers, all leading to David's client. The two lovers find themselve ...more
Loved it!!! See other reviews on the Liu Hulan series. Excellent story line!
I liked this book, but the characters spent too much time speculating on the who, what, where, when, and why of the cases they were investigating. I wish they had spent more time on their relationships! This is the 2nd in the Red Princess series with Lawyer David Stark (U.S. Attorney's office) and Chinese investigator Liu Hulan (Ministry of Public Security). Hulan receives an urgent letter from an old friend, Suchee, of her Cultural Revolution days. It seems Suchee's daughter, Miaoshan has commi ...more
This is the second of the Red Princess books and I found it even more engaging than the first one. Most of this takes place in China, though there are many connections with the US, notably involving a US toy company with a large factory in an isolated part of rural China. There are several murders, not all connected, though at first they seem to be; David and Hulan at times are on opposite sides, due to his having gone back to the practice of law and having the toy company as a client. Her life ...more
I found this book to be so incredibly boring. I liked Shanghai Girls so much and I kept thinking that The Interior HAD to get better. It didn't. Even the faster paced chapters where everything was coming to a resolution were boring. This makes me hesitant to read anything else from See other than Finding Joy (the sequel to SG). Disappointing!

I am amazed by the versatility of Lisa See. It seems like all she has to do is touch pen to paper and she begins to unravel a magnificent story.
(Obviously she spends a lot of time doing research to be able to write with such clarity and understanding of her characters and the places they inhabit.)
It doesn't matter if she is writing the story of her own family in On Gold Mountain, or the three books, that make up The Red Princess Trilogy, Flower Net, The Interior and Dragon Bones, or the histori
A thrilling page-turner of a murder mystery with the added bonus of Chinese and American cultural clashes, with interesting insights into Chinese politics.
I so enjoyed Lisa See's novels "Peony In Love" and "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" I could not help but pick this book up from a used bookstore, not knowing it was a second in a series. The story stood alone, though I did wonder throughout what had happened to David and Hulan in the previous story.

The novel gives a glimpse of Chinese traditions in the modern-day world, and brings to light the poverty, illiteracy, corruption and class consciousness still prevalent in today's China, woven into a
The Red Princess Mystery series is one that is spellbinding. This book, as the other one, was written so brilliantly that it's easy to read and you're learning about the history of China all at the same time. The wonders of how things were over in China. The way things were here in the U.S. at the same time.

Lisa creates the most interesting characters. The two main characters (one from the U.S. and one from China) are both brilliant and well respected individuals. Together, they make one amazing
When David Stark is offered a job in a private firm that would allow him to be reunited with Liu Hulan, his lover, in China he takes it without questioning too deep. Meanwhile Hulan is asked by an old friend to look into Miaoshan's, her only child, death. The two of them meet from opposite sides of the same case involving American companies breaking a lot of laws on Chinese soil. While they struggle not to break their professional code of ethics, they try to solve the the puzzle to figure out wh ...more
in this book "The Interior" we see the story of these two main characters David and Hulan. we see these two people from completely different areas of the world find a love they once lost. From areas in LA, Bejing, and small villiages in china that have gone untouched by the modern age.
What I liked about this story was that even though two people that are kept apart for so can still love each other, I also like how the author add a good amount of detail, description, and how you got absorbed int
The "elements of fiction" are most often listed as follows: plot, character, setting, theme, and style. Genre fiction generally relies on one or more of the first three--plot, character, or setting--to carry the reader along. Strengths of theme and style are more characteristic of literary fiction. As I read Lisa See's The Interior, however, it seems that the strongest element is theme.

On page 380, a minor character remarks, "For so many years the government has talked about what is good for the
Jan 25, 2008 Liz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in a novelization of the culture and history of China
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jean Carlton
I've enjoyed previous books by See but this one, readable enough, didn't hold my attention. I got anxious to be done with it even though the climax of events and resolution of the main mystery should have made the ending more compelling.
I admit to knowing very little about China in general let alone China/US relations and factory corruption. I did get a picture that I trust knowing that See is Chinese herself and is a thorough researcher. This is one of a series known as Red Princess mysteries f
Lisa See is getting better with each book. This is Book 2 of the Red Princess series. Liu and David are back with another adventure. He has been asked to open an office in Beijing. Liu has been asked to check into the mysterious death of a childhood friend of hers daughter. The adventure takes off from there. Kind of gruesome in some parts, but well written. Gives you a feel of China and what those people have gone through for years.
Karen A.
This is the second book in Lisa See's Red Princess series. It is just as good as the first. Again exploring current topics between China and the US. Free market expansion in rural and rustic parts of China. Labor practices. The same main characters are back: Inspector Liu Hulan (also Red Princess) and her American lover/beau attorney David Stark. Liu is asked by an old friend to investigate her daughters death which looked like a suicide but she suspects is actually a murder. David is asked by h ...more
Lerida Grant
This is a good/easy read - some very interesting observations on China and its "systems" and attitude towards foreign investment. Also an insight into the hash conditions endured by women /girls to try and forge ahead in a patriarchal system. Exposes shocking conditions of the factories many of them work in.
I am now a big fan of Lisa See! "The Interior" is the second book in her mystery series and I think it was just as interesting and mysterious as the first. However, instead of mainly taking place in Beijing, Liu Hulan, the Chinese detective goes back to an area in the interior of China where she had worked alongside the peasants during the Cultural Revolution.

The daughter of her friend was working for an American toy factory when she died. Although made to look like a suicide Hulan believed di
Not as good as the first book but I still didn't want to put it down. Looking forward to reading the third book. I really did enjoy how she wove in the Chinese traditions and differences to US customs, including the way people think. I really think Lisa See is a brilliant author.
T.W. Fendley
I read this out of order and now want to go back and read the first book in the Red Princess series because this was even better than the third book. Lisa See gives us a glimpse of what it may be like inside modern China, from the peasant class to the privileged, in a tale of love, greed and murder. I found the audiobook easy to follow.
Barbara Loggia
disappointing book by See. Mystery in China goes into too many loops and didn't hold my attention. Murder in a toy factory/Chinese traditions/American atty-Chinese govmt girlfriend/some view of Chinese factory abuses and the greed of men from America and china.
Andrew Cooke
Couldn't put it down

I have loved everything that Lisa See has written. I have preordered her latest book. I am hoping there will be more Red Princess mysteries. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in China and it's history.
Beijing detective Liu Hulan receives an urgent message from an old friend imploring her to investigate the suspicious death of her daughter, who worked for an American-owned toy company in the rural village deep in the heart of China. When Hulan goes undercover at the factory, she discovers the harsh life of the factory workers who produce the products that fill American stores. Rather than finding answers to the girl’s death, she unearths more questions, all of which point to possible crimes co ...more
Set in current-day China, this mystery story is an interesting read. A U.S. company sets up manufacturing in China, something that appears to be a win-win situation for the company and the Chinese people. The company can employ laborers in its manufacturing plant at a fraction of what it would cost in the U.S. and the factory brings jobs and a small level of prosperity to a rural, impoverished area of China. But when a village girl turns up dead, an apparent suicide, the mother of the girl conta ...more
The book The Interior is a suspense thriller set in China. My favorite aspect of the book was the look into Chinese traditions, history, and politics the author gave throughout the book. The plot is fast moving and involves murders, corruption in an American factory in China, and the constant interwoven commentary on Chinese life. I found both the plot and characters to be fascinating. Also, the author did an awesome job of keeping the identity of the killer of the first murder victim a surprise ...more
I found this book slow to get into but once the plot became advanced, I found it quite a compelling read. US Attorney David Stark and his lover Liu Hulan are re-united in Beijing and become involved in a criminal investigation into US corporations who have factories in China. Part of the plot involves the horrendous conditions in the US owned factories which reminded me of the way in which Charles Dickens spotlighted the worst conditions during the Industrial Revolution in Britain. The book is s ...more
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A Good Read 2 12 May 02, 2012 08:23PM  
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Lisa See is a Chinese-American author. Her books include Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005), Dragon Bones, and On Gold Mountain. She was named the 2001 National Woman of the Year, by the Organization of Chinese American Women. She lives in Los Angeles.

More about Lisa See...

Other Books in the Series

Red Princess (3 books)
  • Flower Net (Red Princess, #1)
  • Dragon Bones (Red Princess, #3)
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1) Dreams of Joy (Shanghai Girls #2) Peony in Love China Dolls

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