A perfect crime
A Yi, 2015
Ai Guozhu, aka A Yi, has been a rising star in China's literary scene ever since he made the bold career move from policeman to author. His first collection of short stories appeared in print back in 2008, and since then his works have appeared in The Guardian and Granta. His first novel, and the only to be translated to English so far, A Perfect Crime was published back in 2015.
The novel centres on the vicious and seemingly pointless murder of a young female student, with the only motive a chilling desire to escape relentless boredom. The killer displays no remorse, no empathy, only a desire to pick a victim that will create the biggest social outrage. As the unnamed narrator muses, ‘If I hadn’t committed a murder so intolerable to our hypocritical society, what would have been the point?’ This is a crime novel that races at breakneck speed to the darkest depths of human nature.