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The book has now been published in Danish, with the new title Slaverne i Tanzhou (The slaves of Tanzhou) It got brilliant reviews in the leading Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten. The Danish edition can be bought here.


Blodröda kräftor - Jakten på Henry Wu
(Red Herring)
Lind & Co., 2010

Eliza Su has a problem. She just turned 31 – the age at which her grandchild crazed Cantonese mother insists her uterus will slowly begin to shrivel and die.

Fortunately, there is a new man in her life. Love Bildt is everything Eliza ever dreamt of: sexy, successful, smart and with the body of a Greek god as a bonus. Unfortunately, he is already married - and he is her boss.

Eliza has come a long way from the hardscrabble immigrant suburb of Stockholm of her youth. Her parents are still there, running Restaurant Hong Kong, a favorite of the local alcoholics. Eliza’s relentless drive and beauty allowed her to escape and move quickly up the corporate ladder. Despite her young age, she is already vice president of Riskkontroll, a due diligence investigative firm that specialized in assisting Western firms entering the booming China market.

But when Eliza starts to investigate a successful Swedish businessman and his slimy Chinese business partner, Henry Wu, she is suddenly thrust into a hellhole of sexual slavery and corruption.

As she strikes a deal with the local arm of China’s shadowy paramilitary force, Eliza realizes that the stakes have become life or death. A cat-and-mouse chase ensues – ranging from China’s industrial zones, to the billionaire clubs of Hong Kong and anarchist squats of Sweden and Copenhagen’s drug addled skid row.

With humor and breathtakingly suspense Eliza Su takes the reader on a thrilling journey. The book presents a classic murder mystery set in the shady underbelly of international trade. Blodröda kräftor is a mixture of Stieg Larsson, Marian Keyes and a unique new voice in crime novels.


“The journalist and China correspondent Ola Wong definitely belongs to the list of authors who make this autumn come alive and this he does with his debut, Red Herring – the Hunt for Henry Wu. I’ve spent several hours with Wong’s super heroine Eliza Su, her crazy cousin Vicky, her sexy boyfriend Love and the all-time-bad-guy Henry Wu and had a fantastic time. It’s over the top, violent, action packed and seriously entertaining. And there is a grain of thought provoking reality here and there – from Hong Kong to Malmö. (…) The first part of Red Herring takes place in China and Ola Wong portrays with great finesse a China that spans from deep poverty to incredible wealth. From China we skip to Malmö and this is where the dramatic blot of the story unfolds and we are confronted with foolish police, militant activists and naïve revolutionists. There’s a strong and important undertone throughout Wong’s narrative – he wants to show his reader how the China of today functions whilst inviting readers to indulge in action packed entertainment. Wong freely lashes out in different directions and everybody from anarchy-feminists to circus artists to scrupulous capitalists receive their fair share. It’s a long time since I’ve had so much fun reading a Swedish crime novel and Eliza Su and her cousin Vicky leave me asking for more." (Gunilla Wedding, the crime column, Skånskan)

“Red Herring is a hardboiled story. With style, precise points, snappy occurrences, smart dialogue and an underlying sense of humour which made me think of Raymond Chandler.” (Kristianstadsbladet)

“With Ola Wong’s Red Herring we’ve now got a Swedish equivalent, an entertaining thriller in a Chinese setting, written by an author who knows both the Swedish and the Chinese conditions.” (Helsingborgs Dagblad)

“Ola Wong’s thriller debut is a true novel of entertainment (…) There is no lack of excitement in Wong’s novel and he has narrative skill, a finely tuned ear for sarcasm and humour – the latter is in short supply in most Swedish crime novels. (…) There is plenty of pace and stylistically the story reminds me of the hardboiled pulp fiction novels of the 1950s with precise dialogue and dramatic imagery. (…) and Eliza Su – a completely unlikely but entertaining character in the style of Lisbeth Salander who tells herself every morning how lovely she is – I’d love to meet again.” (Sydsvenskan)

Swedish author, Ola Wong is the China correspondent for Svenska Dagbladet and Sydsvenskan, two leading Swedish newspapers. He has been based in Shanghai since 2002. He is the author of three critically acclaimed nonfiction books on China, amongst others No, I'm From Borås (Ordfront, 2004) and När tusen eldar slickar himlen (Ordfront, 2008).


Update: Red Herring will be published in Danish summer 2011 by  PUNKTUM publishing house