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.