Review: Kevin Kwan’s ‘China Rich Girlfriend’


kevin_kwanProudhon said, “Property is theft”; Balzac said, “Behind great fortunes without apparent cause lies a crime forgotten.”

Well, if great wealth is a great crime, Kevin Kwan’s “China Rich Girlfriend,” a sequel to his 2013 “Crazy Rich Asians,” slots neatly into the grand tradition of true-crime narratives — those lurid paper­backs that aim to repulse and to fascinate, all in order to keep you turning the page.

The opening event of the novel sets the tone: We learn that Carlton Bao, the scion of a billionaire family from mainland China, has gotten into a car accident in London and killed a girl. We follow the family banker, Edison Cheng, as he scrambles to move assets around to pay people off and protect Carlton from legal consequence, altering the official record so that the dead girl never existed.

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