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Chinese crime fiction published in Britain

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-06-14 21:42
Death Notice by contemporary writer Zhou Haohui. Photo from headofzeus.com

LONDON - The English version of Death Notice, a popular Chinese crime fiction by contemporary writer Zhou Haohui, was published in Britain Thursday.

The crime thriller has been sold more than 1.2 million copies in China. The translated story, set in southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu, follows an elite police squad as they hunt a vengeful killer who sends death notices to and then executes criminals the law cannot reach.

Its British publisher, Head of Zeus, introduced the book on its website as "a hi-octane, hi-concept, cat-and-mouse thriller that adds an exhilarating new gear to the police procedural".

Nicolas Cheetham, publisher of Head of Zeus, told Xinhua that he was struck by the book's "exemplary plotting and pace", and the final twist in particular is brilliantly done.

He believed that good stories, helped by good translation, can transcend national borders and win the hearts of global readers.

"Certainly that is so for science fiction and crime fiction," he suggested, "the most important thing about a translation is that it shouldn't read like a translation. So you need, first and foremost, a good translator."

The translator Zac Haluza, currently lives in Shanghai, is a freelance translator and writer from the United States.

Head of Zeus is building a list of the best genre fiction from around the world, including historical fiction, science fiction, romance, and crime fiction.

"Chinese fiction is a particular focus," Cheetham told Xinhua, noting that they had published Liu Cixin's Three-Body trilogy to huge success, with 400,000 copies sold to date, and they have books coming from a selection of China's best science fiction writers.

"Given the success of Chinese science fiction in our market, it is not surprising that we started looking for the best in Chinese crime fiction," he added.

A leading contemporary master of suspense in China, Zhou Haohui is the author of more than ten novels exploring the intersection of human nature, criminal motive, and the art of detection.

Zhou's works have been translated into French, English, Korean, and Japanese, and many have been adapted for film and television.

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