A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel

A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel

Murder, Money, and An Epic Power Struggle in China

Book - 2013
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The downfall of Bo Xilai in China was more than a darkly thrilling mystery. It revealed a cataclysmic internal power struggle between Communist Party factions, one that reached all the way to China's new president Xi Jinping.

The scandalous story of the corruption of the Bo Xilai family--the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood; Bo's secret lovers; the secret maneuverings of Bo's supporters; the hasty trial and sentencing of Gu Kailai, Bo's wife--was just the first rumble of a seismic power struggle that continues to rock the very foundation of China's all-powerful Communist Party. By the time it is over, the machinations in Beijing and throughout the country that began with Bo's fall could affect China's economic development and disrupt the world's political and economic order.

Pin Ho and Wenguang Huang have pieced together the details of this fascinating political drama from firsthand reporting and an unrivaled array of sources, some very high in the Chinese government. This was the first scandal in China to play out in the international media--details were leaked, sometimes invented, to non-Chinese news outlets as part of the power plays that rippled through the government. The attempt to manipulate the Western media, especially, was a fundamental dimension to the story, and one that affected some of the early reporting. A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel returns to the scene of the crime and shows not only what happened in Room 1605 but how the threat of the story was every bit as important in the life and death struggle for power that followed. It touched celebrities and billionaires and redrew the cast of the new leadership of the Communist Party. The ghost of Neil Heywood haunts China to this day.
Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, c2013.
ISBN: 9781610392730
Characteristics: xv, 334 p. ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Huang, Wenguang 1964-


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Feb 25, 2019

[UPDATE: I owe Mr. Pin Ho an apology. After further investigation he is right about the South China Morning Post, they definitely appear to be under the direction of Beijing!]
"We are not here to be taught a lesson in democracy. Those times are gone forever."
A fantastic and elucidating recounting of the murder of a Brit business type in China by the wife of Bo Xialai, high gov't official, jockeying to be alpha dog of China! The author, Pin Ho, a professional journalist covering current news in China and the internals of the Chinese Communist Party, enlightens the reader on myriad and sundry events, explaining the rampant corruption and circumstances leading to - - and surrounding - - the murder. If you're lacking in information about China, you'll feel like an expert after perusing this book.
My two points of criticism: the author describes the Hong Kong newspaper, the South China Morning Post, as pro-Beijing. Now Pin Ho (the author) is infinitely more knowledgeable about the China-sphere than I will ever be, but I have read a number of stories on massive human rights abuses perpetrated by the CCP in China in that newspaper, not picked up by other newspapers and news outlets, et cetera! And here's a recent link on an article on the Social Credit System written in the SCMP paper:
The second criticism derives from p. 276, when the author makes an incredibly bizarre assertion, claiming that there's NO EVIDENCE on Bo Xilia covering up his wife's murder, AFTER the author tells us that Bo illegally detained four police officers who were investigating the murder and forced them to say that his wife was framed for the murder; after firing the police chief and illegally detaining three of the chief's staff for interrogation; and, plotting to have the police chief killed, making it appear to be a suicide. If that's not covering up something, then I'm the King of the Universe! ! ! [This was the one really weird aspect of this book, thankfully.]
China is still run like and ancient, bloody and brutal dynasty - - nothing has changed!

LaBeteNoir Feb 06, 2014

I read mysteries set in contemporary china. This book is frighteningly like the fiction. Great way to learn contemporary china's political system.

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