"Smoke and Mirrors" is a smart, insightful book about modern China… What sets Aiyar's work apart is that it is not written by an academic or expert, nor is it told from either a Western or Chinese viewpoint...... she has discovered a way of bridging her native and adopted homes. As someone well acquainted with the problems of Asian development, she easily sees past the smoke and mirrors of China's shiny new metropolis

Joyce Lau, International Herald Tribune