Paula's Reviews > Bad Traffic: An Inspector Jian Novel

Bad Traffic by Simon Lewis
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Sep 18, 11

Read in September, 2011

I'd heard good things about this novel, so it was on my list of stuff to try and get hold of from the library now they're very kindly doing free inter-library requests...

The basic premise of 'Bad Traffic' is that it's the story of Jian, a policeman in China who is pretty much just getting by, taking bribes and concentrating on feathering his own nest no matter what - all that changes, however, when he gets a panicky phone call from his daughter, who is at university in England.

Although he speaks no English at all, Jian drops everything and flies to the UK, finding himself in a country more alien than he could ever have imagined, where he cannot exercise the power or authority he is normally used to exercising without a second thought. His daughter has dropped out of her college course, though she'd still been telling him things were fine, and when he finds her mobile phone with a video of her on it, Jian fears the worst and swears revenge.

'Bad Traffic' reminds me very much of books by folks like Elmore Leonard, with Jian very much a fish out of water - along the way, his path crosses with other folks who have come into contact with the people his daughter got into trouble with, and it's one of those who ends up being a very unwilling interpreter and sidekick.
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