The Borrowed 13.67 - Chan Ho-Kei

Perhaps events had their own way of ordering themselves, perhaps beginnings and endings always had coincidences no ordinary person could penetrate. In the flood of time, human beings were no more than flecks of grit, borne along by the flow.

The Borrowed 13.67 is a police/crime-solving novel written by Chan Ho-Kei first published in 2014. The book contains six interconnected stories of Kwan Chun-dok, a clever Hong Kong detective, in six different time period throughout his career. The book tells the story backward from Kwan's last days in a hospital's bed to his earliest days as a young obedient police officer.

I randomly bought this book one day in a bookstore thinking it might be a somewhat good read to pass the time. However, by the time I had finished reading the first story, I realized how wrong I was. This book is something else.

The six seemingly separated stories tell one single theme about Kwan's quest to be a different kind of detective from his coworkers, one that serves the people, not the institution. Throughout years of his career in Hong Kong's unstable political and social conditions, Kwan has to solve case after case that questions where his true loyalty as detective lies. Cases that involve homicide, mafia, kidnapping, bombing, and many more.

The writer not just successfully wrote an entertaining detective case for each story, but also decently tied them up in one satisfying continuation. What makes the book quite exceptional is the fact that the book also serves as a memento of Hong Kong's political and social history. Who knows that this odd combination could make quite a great story.

Bottom line, if you like Sherlock Holmes stories with or without a mix of Hong Kong's political and social intricacies, you will fancy this book a lot. Like, a lot.

The Borrowed (13.67)
Chan Ho-Kei
First Published