Murder, he writes

Updated: 2015-03-25 08:58

By Xing Yi(China Daily)

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Murder, he writes

He Jiahong has two thrillers being published in English. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In 1994, he started to write his crime series, a year after his return from the United States with a doctoral degree from Northwestern University. "It seemed to me that my legal studies had been somewhat achieved, so I wanted to take some time off to realize my dream of becoming an author," He says.

In 1994, one of his college friends suggested that he write crime novels. "And so I did," recalls He. Between 1994 and 1998, he wrote short crime stories for newspapers and published four novels-The Mad Woman (English title Hanging Devil), Evils in the Stock Market (English title Black Holes), Enigma of the Dragon Eye Stone, and The Mysterious Ancient Painting, and later added another one titled Black Bat and White Bat.

Besides English, the series has been translated into French, Spanish and Italian, and received wide acclaim overseas. The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom named Hanging Devil as one of the top 10 Asian crime fictions in 2007.

The series' lead character, lawyer Hong Jun, has a lot of similarities with He. Hong, for instance, also has returned from the US, thinks up abstract situations and likes to give lengthy lectures to his assistant.

Hong is depicted as a smart and upright lawyer, who doesn't smoke or drink, traits that He says, are of an "ideal lawyer".

"I wanted to create an example of an almost perfect lawyer for China at the time," he says, adding that in order to promote legal reforms in the country, "more good lawyers" are needed.

Many of the ideas of his stories come from real cases that he was involved with either as a lawyer or a police investigator in the 1980s.