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The Borrowed Audiobook, by Chan Ho-kei Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Chan Ho-kei Narrator: P. J. Ochlan Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2017 ISBN: 9781441736802
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A deductive powerhouse, detective Kwan Chun-dok becomes a legend in the Hong Kong Police Force, nicknamed “the Eye of Heaven” by his awe-struck colleagues. Divided into six sections told in reverse chronological order—each of which covers an important case in Kwan’s career and takes place at a pivotal moment in Hong Kong history—The Borrowed follows Kwan from his experiences during the Leftist riot in 1967, when a bombing plot threatens many lives; the conflict between the Hong Kong police and Independent Commission against Corruption in 1977; and the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 to the Handover in 1997 and the present day of 2013, when Kwan is called on to solve his final case, the murder of a local billionaire. Along the way we meet Communist rioters, ultraviolent gangsters, stallholders at the city’s many covered markets, pop singers enmeshed in the high-stakes machinery of star-making, and a people always caught in the shifting balance of political power, whether in London or Beijing—all coalescing into a dynamic portrait of this fascinating city.

Tracing a broad historical arc, The Borrowed reveals just how closely everything is connected, how history always repeats itself, and how we have come full circle to repeat the political upheaval and societal unrest of the past. It is a gripping, brilliantly constructed novel from a talented new voice.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Five decades of Hong Kong policing stand behind the wise Inspector Kwan as he helps his protégé, Detective Lok, confound murderers.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “[Chan’s] latest award-winning book is…likely to strike a chord.”

    South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

  • “The author’s real goal is to tell a history of modern Hong Kong…As a ‘social narrative’ of the city, to use his phrase, the story is fascinating.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Ho-Kei’s English-language debut is a strong collection of classic mysteries driven by flawless deductive reasoning and thoughtful character development.”


  • “Chan Ho-Kei’s The Borrowed is full of surprises…A brilliant detective novel.”

    Wolf Hsu, Taiwanese novelist

  • “An ambitious narrative brilliantly executed. It hands us the living history of Hong Kong through the gripping prism of crime and politics—told backwards.

    John Burdett, author of Bangkok 8

  • A Library Journal Audio-in-Advance Pick for January 2017
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week for January 9, 2017

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About the Author

Chan Ho-Kei was born and raised in Hong Kong. He has worked as software engineer, scriptwriter, game designer, and editor of comic magazines. His writing career started with the short story “The Murder Case of Jack and the Beanstalk,” which was short-listed for the Mystery Writers of Taiwan Award. He won the award the next year with “The Locked Room of Bluebeard.” His first novel, The Man Who Sold the World, won the Soji Shimada Mystery Award, the biggest mystery award in the Chinese-speaking world, and was published in five languages.

About the Narrator

P. J. Ochlan is an Audie Award–winning, multiple Earphones Award–winning, and Voice Arts Award–nominated narrator of hundreds of audiobooks. His acting career spans more than thirty years and has also included Broadway, the NY Shakespeare Festival under Joseph Papp, critically acclaimed feature films, and television series regular roles.