Published April 15, 2014; Soho Crime
Genre: police procedural
"Find out anything, bro?" It was Billy Bow.
"Yeah, he's Chinese,"snapped Jack. "Why?"
"Last name Chang, right?" teased Billy.
"And you know that how?"Jack countered.
"Ancient Chinese secret."
"Stop f---ing around, Billy. It's a homicide deal now."
It was 7 A.M. when Detective Jack Yu stepped into the frigid dawn spreading over Sunset Park.A slate gray Brooklyn morning with single-digit temperatures driven by wind shrieking off the East River. He scanned Eighth Avenue for the Chinese see gay radio cars bur saw none, only a couple of Taipan minibuses, sai-ba, queued up a block away from the Double Eight Cantonese restaurant.
(above quotes taken from an advance uncopyedited edition of the book; final copy may differ)
Novelist Henry Chang returns us to the Chinatown of NYPD Detective Jack Yu, and spins one of his most noir tales yet. When the body of an unidentified Asian man is found in the Harlem River, NYPD Detective Jack Yu is pulled in to investigate. The murder takes Jack from the benevolent associations of Chinatown to the take-out restaurants, strip clubs, and underground gambling establishments of the Bronx, to a wealthy, exclusive New Jersey borough. It's a world of secrets and unclear allegiances, of Chinatown street gangs and major Triad players. With the help of an elderly fortune teller and an old friend, the unpredictable Billy Bow, Jack races to solve his most difficult case yet.
I enjoyed the author's previous books, Year of the Dog and Red Jade, and continue to find the world of NYC's Chinatown fascinating, as it appears in this series. The novel has a no-holds-barred frankness that may shock some, but its honesty in its portrayal of people, places, and situations makes it an intriguing book.
There is a subplot that I wish had been developed more in the novel - Jack Yu's romance with an attractive Chinese lawyer. The subplot could help to lighten some of the tense events of the mystery novel as it went along.
I received a complimentary ARC of this book from the publisher.