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The Interior (Red Princess #2)

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3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  2,298 Ratings  ·  219 Reviews
“See paints a fascinating portrait of a complex and enigmatic society, in which nothing is ever quite as it appears, and of the people, peasant and aristocrat alike, who are bound by its subtle strictures.”
–San Diego Union-Tribune

While David Stark is asked to open a law office in Beijing, his lover, detective Liu Hulan, receives an urgent message from an old friend implori
...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published December 31st 2007 by Random House (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Skk17
Mar 23, 2017 Skk17 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worth of Reading !
Mark
Jul 04, 2012 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recentlyread
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
Rachel
Sep 12, 2008 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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).
Agatha
Sep 11, 2012 Agatha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Beth
Nov 11, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lauri Saplad
Lisa See is wonderful, as always, with a well-researched and structured story. This one really gets to the heartland of China, exploring not only the culture and politics, but really seeing what life is like for the peasants & working class. It makes you explore your own Western morals and ideals at the same time. China is vast and will probably always seem mysterious and a little strange to us. The Interior gives us a glance into life there.
Gina
Jan 04, 2012 Gina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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!
quinnster
Oct 24, 2016 quinnster rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I don't know why, but I just don't enjoy Lisa See's mystery novels as much as I enjoyed her historical fiction books. Which coming from me is bizarre as I don't particularly like historical fiction, but love mysteries! Still, I love getting lost in the Chinese culture and descriptions of the country.
Annalie
May 17, 2013 Annalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thrilling page-turner of a murder mystery with the added bonus of Chinese and American cultural clashes, with interesting insights into Chinese politics.
Kathy
Oct 18, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!!! See other reviews on the Liu Hulan series. Excellent story line!
Caroline Hayes
Jan 22, 2017 Caroline Hayes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! I hope See will consider writing more of the Red Princess mysteries! Loved all three of them!
Susan Lee
Overall a good read with well thought plots. A mix between Nora Roberts's Death series and Angela Lansbury's Murder She Wrote, Lisa See managed to blend in the east and west making the story as entertaining.

Here's my full review:
http://www.sholee.net/2017/03/mpov-in...
Susan Jones
Feb 15, 2016 Susan Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com Review
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 to find a way to get back to China--or convince Hulan to move to America--Hulan goes to th
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Rachel
This is the second book featuring Liu Hulan, an agent with China's Ministry of Public Security, and David Stark, an American attorney. This time Hulan is contacted by an old friend in the interior of China who believes her daughter, Miaoshan, was murdered. Hulan connects Miashoan's death to a nearby toy factory. Meanwhile David returns to China so he can be with Hulan and he ends up representing the company that wants to buy the toy factory. I'm apparently reading this series backwards since I r ...more
Bernye
Feb 26, 2017 Bernye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great second book in the series
Donna
Feb 26, 2017 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great novel of China

I enjoy Lisa See's novels as she tells so many traditions and cultural details about China. The history is chaotic and the people resilient.
Grace
Feb 19, 2011 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dyana
Apr 29, 2014 Dyana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jim
Jul 27, 2015 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chinese-fiction
Having read "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" several years ago, I was really looking forward to reading this book. Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed. The plot line drags and is very confusing at times. There is a lot of background information about Chinese life in the 21st century in both Beijing and the "Interior," where this book takes place - Shanxi Province to be specific. I found the information about American and Western firms setting up factories in the hinterlands of China inter ...more
Donna
Jul 26, 2008 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
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
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Johnlandon
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
...more
Linda Lpp
Mar 09, 2016 Linda Lpp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I definitely enjoyed this novel by Lisa See. Unfortunately I hadn't read the first book of the "Red Princess series-Flower Net", but decided to go ahead and read "The Interior" anyway.
I did find it a challenge to keep some of the Chinese names straight, but generally context straightened that out. I found initially the pace was so slow I was ready to put the book aside, but it story did get more interesting (thank goodness). Towards the end I got impatient with all the rehashing amongst the mai
...more
Liz
Jan 10, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Stephanie
I might have enjoyed this more if I shared See's passion for Chinese culture. Every conversation in the book needed an explanation of what was really meant, or how offensive it was to that someone said the words "good morning". In fact, the overwhelming feeling was that China was the most politely rude country you could imagine. Not only did the author explain every nuance of what was said, but went to great lengths to educate the reader on China's history, which made it seem like she was throwi ...more
Jacqueline
Jan 05, 2014 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


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
...more
Linda
Mar 13, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Patty
Oct 28, 2012 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readin12, on-ipad
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
...more
Karen A.
Jun 26, 2008 Karen A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dorothy
Oct 10, 2011 Dorothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Play Book Tag: The interior by Lisa See 3 stars 1 10 Feb 24, 2017 06:40AM  
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)

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