Bad Kids

From Reboil

Bad Kids (a.k.a. Bad Kid; zh: 坏小孩 (Huài xiǎohái)) is a 2014 crime novel by Zijin Chen.




Ding Hao
(c5): Old male best friend of Zhu Chaoyang. Friend of Pupu who calls her his sister even though his is not her brother. Claims his parents were arrested and executed for murder, explaining why he abruptly left school 5 years ago.
Fang Lina
(c4): A female classmate Chaoyang gets along with. Tells Zhu Chaoyang that Ye Chimin broke her own camera lens by accident but would blame Chaoyang.
Zhu Yongping and Wang Yao's daughter. Zhu Chaoyang's half-sister.
Lu, Mrs.
(c3): A schoolteacher at Qiushi Middle School. Teaches English. Teacher of Zhu Chaoyang. In her forties. Is tall and thin.
(c5): Female friend of Ding Hao who calls her his sister even though he is not her brother.
Wang Yao
Zhu Yongping's second wife and Jingjing's mother.
Xu Jing
(c2): Yan Liangʼs niece. Daughter of Yanʼs cousin, a retired director of China Tobacco. Wife of Zhang Dongsheng.
Yan Liang, Professor
(c2): Zhejiang University Mathematics Department Ph.d supervisor. Holds Zhang Dongsheng as his favorite student. Previously a law enforcement officer at some point. Gets his phone stolen so he cannot respond to an urgent text from Xu Jing.
Yanʼs cousin
(c2): Retired director of China Tobacco and father of Xu Jing.
Ye Chimin
(c3): Female classmate of Zhu Chaoyang at Qiushi Middle School. Is a journalist for the school newspaper. (c4): Her father is a captain in the police.
Zhang Dongsheng
(c1): Kills his parent in-laws at Sanmingshan. (c2): Became a Ningbo middle school teacher, disappointing his professor Yan Liang.
Zhou Hongming
Zhu Yongping's first wife and Zhu Chaoyang's mother. Works at a ticket booth at Sanmingshan.
Zhu Chaoyang
(c3): A student at Qiushi Middle School. Student of schoolteacher Mrs Lu. Calls himself the “shortest, scrawniest, wimpiest boy in his class”.


(c1): “The most famous mountain in Ningbo”, according to Zhang. Was a former military stronghold with a Ming dynasty era city wall. Now a nature park frequented by tourists.




00:00:00 Zhang Dongsheng murders his parents-in-law by pushing them off a wall at a nature park in Sanmingshan.


00:04:47 While walking with two of his students on campus, Professor Yan Liang gets an urgent text from his niece Xu Jing, wife of Zhang Dongsheng. Before he can reply, an injured old woman cries for help. His students warn him of injury scams so a nearby burly man takes Yan Liang to record Yan helping the old woman up. The old woman flees when offered help to a hospital. Yan and his students realize too late that the burly man ran off with Yanʼs phone. Yan is unable to respond to Xu Jingʼs urgent message.


00:11:11 At Qiushi Middle School, student Zhu Chaoyang is accused by fellow classmate and school newspaper journalist Ye Chimin of breaking her camera lens. Mrs Lu does not believe Zhu Chaoyangʼs denial of the allegation but does not punish Zhu Chaoyang.


00:16:05 Classmate Fang Lina tells Zhu Chaoyang that Ye Chimin broke her own camera lens by accident but planned to falsely accuse Chaoyang to avoid punishment from her strict father. Chaoyang confronts Chimin about the false accusation. Chimin pours water onto herself and then falsely accuses Chaoyang of pouring water onto her head. Mrs Lu threatens to deny Chaoyang the ability to take his exams the next day unless Chaoyangʼs mother comes in the next day for a conference. Chaoyang says his mother cannot take time off work but Mrs Lu is firm with the threat. Chaoyang falsely confesses to Chiminʼs false accusations to satisfy Mrs Lu into permitting him to take his exams. Later, Chimin blames Chaoyang for denying her the top test score position which causes her strict father to punish her. Chaoyang deduces Chimin is jealous of his high test scores.





























CY, DH, and PP find JJ at her school.

CY agrees to PP's idea to push JJ's head into a toilet. CY volunteers to fill the toilet with his own shit. JJ and DH catch JJ and bring her to the bathroom CY is preparing. JJ sees CY and deduces he is behind her capture. JJ and CY antagonize each other calling each other bastards. PP proposes DH shove his own pubic hairs into JJ's mouth which DH does.

CY pushes JJ out a window, killing her.


01:55:35 CY proposes confessing to the crime. Instead, CY agrees to go downstairs to see if JJ died while PP and DH stay upstairs to watch the scene then rendezvous behind the school building.

CY does not turn himself in and PP and DH see JJ's corpse and smashed head carried away by police.

DH swears himself to secrecy. CY doubts DH can keep CY's crime a secret.



Loc: children's palace

Captain Ye Jun arrives at the crime scene. Doctor Chen shows JJ had pubic hairs in her mouth.

Captain Ye Chun is angry that the Children's Palace might see less business because of this apparent sexual assault case.



CY's home.

CY worries about being caught for murder. DH plays a computer game.

CY reads that he has yet to turn 14 so even if caught, he will be punished less for murder.

CY receives a phone call from his mother, Zhou Chunhong. ZC tells CY that JJ was found dead after falling from a window. ZC sounds somewhat pleased at news of JJ's death and the effect it has had on JJ'd father, ZY.

CY tells ZY that he and his two friends had been at the Children's Palace and saw the death of the girl who fell. CY does not tell ZY that he murdered JJ. CY tells CY that she is returning in a couple of days.



Date: 5 July

Yan Liang finally gets a replacement phone to call back his niece, Xu Jing. XJ calles YL back to tell him her parents died by falling off Sanmingshan and that she suspects her fiancé, Zhang Dongsheng, murdered them. XJ says she believes ZD will kill her soon. YL does not believe XJ but offers to meet her. YL is surprised since he believed XJ and ZD had a firm relationship.

YL agrees to meet XJ at a cafe in the afternoon.



XJ tells YL that she believes ZD is after her family's money which he will lose if XJ divorced him. YL believes ZD is capable of an elaborate murder but does not believe ZD would be motivated to be a serial killer. XJ tells YL that if she dies, that ZD probably murdered her.




02:30:43 The kids encounter DZ at a supermarket by coincidence. They confront and blackmail him with video evidence.



The kids (CY, PP, and DH) meet with DZ at a café. They demand money for the camera. DZ is unimpressed with DH who carelessly nearly leaks identifying information. DZ is troubled by PP's cleverness and resolve. DZ feels like they are talking like gangsters. The kids huddle to discuss the amount. They decide to demand enough money for rent and tuition to put them through college, which totals to 100 000 yuan per person (300 000 yuan total). They present their demand to DZ who is aghast at the exorbitant amount. DZ says he cannot produce such a large amount since his wife controls his money and proposes 10 000 each instead. DH readily agrees but PP is firm and demands 100 000. DZ sudde ly agrees and then asks for their residential address so he can contact them. DH nearly gives that away but PP intervenes and asks for DZ's phone number, saying they would contact DZ in a few days. DZ offers them a ride but PP declines. As they leave, DH asks DZ for a small amount of cash; DZ gives DH a few hundred yuan.



PP and CY berate DH for saying they'd accept 10 000 yuan per person instead of 100 000 yuan per person.

PP admits fear during the confrontation but says she learned during her abused past to not show it while fighting those who would hurt her.



Zhang Dongshen (ZD) and Yan Liang (YL) meet at the funeral service for ZD's in-laws, held at a local community center for the elderly.

ZD tells YL a story about how he's a faithful husband who tries to please a finicky and prodigal wife. ZD says he may end up divorcing XJ since that is what she currently wants. YL reassures ZD that he, YL, believes XJ should marry ZD and that he will talk to her to convince her to marry ZD. ZD is secretly and internally pleased that YL apparently buys his story.



PP proposes blackmailing ZD forever. CY disagrees, predicting eventually ZD would kill them regardless of the blackmail threat.

They create a plan to receive the money in which PP and CY would receive it while DH would stay hidden and report ZD to police if PP or CY are harmed.



Date: July 6

Loc: XJ and ZD's apartment.

Xu Jing asks Zhu Dongshen for a divorce. XJ proposes giving ZD money to go through with the dirvoce. ZD asks XJ for a house for his parents if they divorce. ZS insists that they delay the divorce for some time so gossip will not emerge linking the divorce with the death of XJʼs parents. XJ demands permission to move out and live separately from ZD.[1] ZD agrees.

ZD privately decides XJ must be dealt with ASAP.



Date: July 8

CY and PP meet with ZD in ZD's unfurnished apartment. Neither party had anything to trade (no camera, no money). CY deduces ZD is a math teacher based on some magazines on a coffee table. CY enthusiastically rummages through them, interested in math. PP spots a hidden knife in the magazines. CY and PP decide to leave and meet again at a later date.

PP lets slip she is homeless. ZD offers to house her in a spare flat his wife owns. PP accepts.



Police investigating JJ's murder are spinning their wheels.

An investigator recalls how Yan Liang, a great investigator, solved a case by focusing on the murderer's motive and grudges they may have held. The investigator decides to have JJ's father and mother, Zhu Yongping and Wang Yao, to review the Children's Palace CCTV surveillance video to see if they can spot someone suspicious who may hold a grudge against Zhu Yongping.



CY and PP travel back to CY's apartment via a circuitous route. CY deduces the juice PP wishes to drink on the table was poisoned and ZD planned to finish them off with the knife. CY and PP decide to keep the close-call with the poison a secret from DH who would worry too much.



CY greets his mother, Zhou Chunhong, who returned from work. PP and DH have already left to live at flat ZD prepared. CY reveals his father has not called him about JJ's death. ZC says JJ's death is divine punishment against her ex-husband, YP, CY's father. ZC tells her son, CY, to never visit the Children's Palace since dirty old men are there, evidenced by JJ's rape and murder. ZC asks CY to visit his grandfather whose stroke means he is likely to die soon.


03:36:11 h Wang Yao immediately accused CY of murdering JJ after spotting him on surveillance video of the Children's Palace. ZYP, her husband, tries to call her down but WY is resolute in her accusation of CY. The police are skeptical that small-bodied CY could have wounded, raped, and murdered JJ which their evidence indicates happened.



The police visit CY who invites them into his home. CY acknowledges having visited the Children's Palace when JJ died but denies following JJ there. CY's mother, Zhou Chunhong, returns home and berates the police for suspecting her son, believing her ex-husband, ZYP, had put them up to it.

CY deduces the police have not yet connected PP or DH to the murder of JJ. CY plans to keep them from being suspected by police.



CY is sent by his mother to buy cooking wine and sees JJ waiting outside his apartment. CY subtly signals JJ to meet elsewhere which she does. CY tells JJ about the police visit.

JJ tells CY that ZD send her and DH to a KFC to eat and likely rummaged through the apartment he prepared for them, searching for the camera. CY reassures PP that ZD cannot harm them while CY has the camera, lest CY report ZD's murder to the police.

CY arranges to meet PP and DH by being available at his favorite bookstore on certain days and times should they need to talk with him.



The police find ZCY's DNA does not match the tissue samples found on JJ's corpse.

The police recount interviews with ZYP, his wife, and his coworkers. They grow to strongly pity ZCY for being neglected by ZYP due to WY's jealousy of ZYP's first wife.



WY travels to ZCY's and his mother's apartment to confront ZCY. WY immediately attacks ZCY on site, accusing ZCY of murdering JJ. ZCH defends ZCY but WY inflicts serious cranial trauma on ZCH, disabling her. Neighbors intervene and restrain WY and ZCY. ZCY threatens WY for hurting his mother. WY firmly repeats accusations against ZCY. ZYP arrives and attempts to calm WY down but WY accuses ZYP of protecting ZCY. Police arrive and restrain WY.

Police officer _ arranges to have all parties in the dispute talk later at the police station so ZCY, whom he pities, isn't scarred by the incident.

Privately, ZCY reflects that, although he didn't mean to kill JJ, he wishes to murder WY.



Date: July 11.

PP meets with CY at the Xinhua Bookstore at 1pm as planned. PP recommends the novel Krabat to CY. They read some of it.

CY recounts to PP how WY beat his mother, Zhou Chunhong, yet was not charged by police. CY is disgusted by his father, Zhu Yongping, for defending WY.

PP recounts how ZD is going on a long trip and will be out of contact. PP warns CY that DH seems fond of ZD after ZD bought a gaming computer for DH.



CY sees a news report in which ZD grieves for his wife's death in a car accident. CY deduces ZD killed his wife. CY begins investigating the incident in case ZD uses the same tactics against himself, PP, or DH.



Date: July 29

DH visits CY at the bookstore. DH asks CY if CY likes PP. CY had intended to talk to PP about how ZD killed his own wife but decides not to talk to DH since DH is not very clever. DH tells CY is pretty and smart. CY tells DH he is unsure. CY asks DH if he likes PP and DH replies that he views PP as his own sister. DH reveals he has a childhood crush on a girl from his hometown named Li Quanquan; DH shows CY a tattoo he got with her name.

DH leaves.



CY and his mother are soiled by human excrement by hooligans in separate drive-by incidents. CY calls the police who being WY and ZYP to CY for pressing charges. ZYP successfully pleads with his son, ZCY, to not press charges against his wife, WY, who denies involvement in the crime but also accuses ZCY of murdering her daughter, JJ.

CY passively accepts a promise of money from ZYP and tells police he will not be pressing charges.



Date: July 30

YL visits a police office to ask to review information about XJ's death. The police officer there asks YL for help with the Children's Palace case but YL refuses, citing their civilian status and the long time since they were a detective in the police force.

YL sees video footage of XJ crashing and learns that although cause of death was determined to be misuse of sedatives and alcohol, no chemical analysis was performed. YL is very suspicious that XJ 's body was scheduled for immediate cremation.



Date: July 31

Zhang Dongsheng returns to his new apartment after a two-night vigil. Xu Jing died on her way to work. ZD mentions XJ's infidelity.

ZD weighs the risk of torturing two of the kids in order to flush out the third but decides instead to simply cause them to wait and become lax before executing a simpler murder plot.

Zhu Chaoyang visits ZD's apartment, demanding to know how ZD killed his wife. ZD denies that murder. Yan Liang rings the doorbell and demands to enter. CY insists ZD tell him how he killed his wife. ZD admits to killing his wife, XJ with poison. CY is satisfied for now. ZD asks CY to pretend to be ZD's student who happened to be visiting to borrow some books. CY agrees. ZD gives CY some issues of a high school mathematics magazine Shu Li Tian Di.



Zhang Dongshen welcomes Yan Liang into his apartment. YL sees CY. CY plays along with ZD and pretends to be ZD's student. CY says he is a high school student who is entering his second year in the fall. ZD says CY is borrowing books to study since ZD is grieving and cannot tutor him. YL is somewhat disapproving of how a teacher would probably tutor one of their own students. YL is suspicious of how advanced the mathematics books he is borrowing from ZD are.

YL quizzes CY on a random math problem from one of the books. CY says the problem is unsolvable. ZD panicks, thinking CY's response is false arrogance that would make YL scrutinize ZD even more. Instead, YL, a mathematical genius himself, discovers the random problem is unsolvable due to a misprint and commends CY for his clevwrness. CY genuinely compliments YL for discovering the problem is unsolvable. ZD is secretly relieved that CY ingratiated himself with YL, reducing the possibility of YL following up with the child who has video evidence of his murder of XJ's parents.



Yan Liang visits Zhang Dongshen. Liang asks ZD to inspect the house. ZD gives permission. YL finds the apartment relatively empty; ZD explains he and YL has been living separately.

ZD shows YL photos and phone messages between himself and XJ while he was in a distant mountain village teaching underprivileged students. YL privately finds the alibi very solid.

ZD accuses YL of suspecting him of murdering his wife, XJ. ZD preëmptively brings up the immediate cremation of his wife's body. ZD says he found condoms in his own house that were evidence of his wife's infidelity which pushed him to cremate her body before the traditional 7 day delay.

YL leaves, admitting to himself that all evidence so far points to ZD being innocent. However, YL still is suspicious of ZD being guilty due to the clear motive ZD has of killing his wife and in-laws: inheriting the entire Xu family fortune.



Chaoyang meets with Pupu at the bookstore. CY tells PP about how he discovered ZD murdered his wife, XJ. PP has hoped CY was about to confess his love for her, given that was the subject of her last message to him via Ding Hao. CY then shares with PP how his mother had him and his mother covered in shit in public. CY says he has revenge plans for his mother. CY says his father, Zhu Yongping, is dead to him after ZYP paid CY money for the trouble his wife, Wang Yao.



Ye Jun recounts to Yan evidence surrounding Xu Jing's death and concludes Zhang Dongsheng's innocence or guilt cannot be determined due to the lack of evidence caused by the accelerated cremation of Xu Jing's corpse. YJ notes the more prosecutable suspect is Xu Jing's adulturous lover Fu Yifan who was with XJ in the days before XJ's death. FY says XJ was taking sedatives which could explain XJ's fatal failure to drive her car.



CY and PP visit ZD. CY demands ZD tell him how he killed his wife. CY says he wants to kill his own father. PP and ZD are surprised.



ZD decises to kill the kids despite the risk due to how impulsive CY is proving to be.



PP pleads with CY to not kill his own father. CY is surprised PP does not support him.



DH asks PP to trust ZD. PP berates DH for accepting bribes from ZD.

ZD visits PP and DH. PP calls ZD out for trying to talk about why CY wants to kill his own dad. ZD leaves not gaining any intel from PP.



PP, CY, and DH reconcile at the bookstore. PP says CY must not kill his father. CY feels good to have friends in PP and DH.



Zhu Yongping talks with CY. ZY gives CY money. CY feels remorse. ZY asks if CY killed JJ. CY denies it. Wang Yao appears and demands CY confess. WY reveals ZY was recording CY. ZY takes WY away.



CY and PP talk about CY's encounter with ZY. CY says ZY was recording him for a confession of JJ's murder. CY again decides to kill ZY and WY.

CY says DH and therefore PP will be linked to JJ's murder eventually. CY flirts with PP, asking for her real name. PP says her name is Xia Yuepu. CY asks PP to go by Yuepu (YP) and to start a new life under that name.



CY talks with his mother. She heard about CY, ZY, and WY's confrontation via neighbors. She wishes CY hadn't picked up the money WY threw at him. CY says he will not contact ZY or ZY's parents. She encouraged CY to visit ZY's parents so people see CY as a good grandson.



CY recruits YP (formerly PP), and DH to help him murder his parents (ZY, WY) in order to employ them after he inherits ZY's company. CY demanda DH to call PP YP. DH complies.



CY and PP confront ZD. CY demanda ZD kills his parents. ZD balks but eventually gives in.



ZD agrees to CY's demands and invites CY back into his apartment with PP. CY proposes ZD murder ZY and WY when they are visiting a certain cemetery at a certain time next week. CY proposes ZD and PP carry out the murder. ZD asks DH to provide help since PP is physically weak. PP agrees.

After the meeting, CY asks PP to convince DH to participate in the murder. CY is worried DH is a coward. PP reassures CY that DH will obey her.



DH refuses to murder anyone. CY and PP convince DH to accompany the murderwr without actively murdering.


06:17:36 h PP, DH, and ZD meet. DH lets slip that CY has another motivation besides revenge for killing his own parents. PP halts DH from speaking and explains to ZD instead that CY is motivated by inheriting his parents money. ZD warns DH and PP that committing murder will weigh upon their consciences. PP reassures DH that she will support him.



ZY thinks about his backstory with WY. ZY took on massive debt in order to speculate on real estate. The economic boom made ZY wealthy. ZY fell in love with the beautiful WY who demanded he divorce his wife before marrying him. ZY divorced his wife when his first son with her was only 2 years old.

WY is still convinced CY was responsible for JJ's death. ZY agreed to never contact CY again.

ZY and WY arrive at a cemetery to burn paper money at JJ's grave.

A young woman asks ZY for help ignighting a decoration for a grave. The young woman tells ZY she and her brother are orphans mourning at their mother's grave. The young woman asks ZY to taste some mochi balls to test a recipe she is using to make money. ZY eats one. ZY soon falls unconscious and dies. PP, the young woman, calls WY over to help ZY. While WY is distracted, PP injects poison directly into WY's neck, which soon kills her.

ZD arrives and he and DH carry the corpses to a nearby sepulchre. ZD plans to make the murder seem like a mugging.

ZD emphasizes the that the children must not remember or acknowledge the murder. ZD privately plans to murder the children. ZD, PP, and DH part ways.



LF notices CY is distracted at school.

CY meets up with PP after school. PP describes in detail how she, DH, and ZD killed CY's parents at the cemetery. CY reveals he plans to give ZD the camera in a few weeks after the hubbub around the murders subsides. PP says she feels guilty. CY reassures PP that he will never resent her.

CY cries and whistles a song.



CY's mother notices he is writing prolifically and distractedly. She tells him that his father and wife are missing. CY asks how long they have been missing. CY's mother later notices CY still writing late at night.



The police discover and identify ZY and WY's corpses several days after they died.



The police contemplate the evidence of ZY and WY's murders. Summer heat and a recent funeral procession caused most evidence to be lost.





CY's mother and ZY's former business partner plot to maximize CY's inheritance. CY's family will inherit 10 million yuan while WY's family will inherit only 2 million yuan.



Ye Jun is despondent about the lack of progress in the JJ murder investigation.

YJ berates his daughter, Chimin, for failing to get better grades at school than CY. YJ asks many questions about CY's attendance, making YJ believe YJ suspects CY of committing a crime.



CY meets with PP. PP tells CY that she and DH are now living together with ZD, ZD wants the camera, and ZD wants to know if CY visited his parents corpses. CY says he did visit his parents corpses which worries PP who relays ZD's worries that CY triggered the early discovery of the corpses less than a month after the murder.



CY brings the camera to ZD's apartment where DH and PP greet him. ZD proposes a celebratory meal of soda and cake. They all drink and DH and PP eat plenty. CY takes a big swig of soda and goes to the bathroom to spit out the soda. DH and PP fall ill with poison. DH, PP, and CY collapse. ZD goes to get bags to store the bodies but is mortally stabbed by CY who remains conscious.

CY survives. CY mourns PP. CY alters evidence to make it seem DH wielded the knife to kill ZD. CY finds the front door locked and so screams for help out a kitchen window.



Apartment security and police recover an injured CY and unconscious from ZD's locked apartment.

YJ interrogates CY who provides a doctored backstory in which DH killed XD before himself and PP succumbing to poison. CY says he, DH, and PP had captured video evidence of ZD killing two people at Sanmingshan which they tried to blackmail ZD with. YJ released CY to not tire him out.



YJ reviews evidence while CY convalesces. YJ receivws a report that fingerprints of PP and DH match those of JJ's murder site. YJ suspects CY withheld information about not being involved with JJ's death. YJ reviews CY's journal and is shocked by what he reads.



YJ informs professor Yan that video evidence proves ZD killed his in-laws at Sanmingshan.

Professor Yan reviews CY's journal. Yan empathizes with CY.



















Professor Yan privately contemplates submitting evidence to the police that forensic analysis shows CY's journal ink was written less than a month ago. While looking at CY alone on a school playground, Yan weighs the prospect of sending CY into prison and the low chance of rehabilitation or allowing CY to enter society with no consequences for murdering so many people.


See also

External links


  1. Baltakatei: 2024-03-30: I do not understand why XJ does not simply move out and leave ZD if she fears for her own life and yet has enough family money that ZD would kill for. Is this a product of the author's culture in which it is unthinkable for a woman to leave her fiancé without their permission? It sure seems like it.