Detective Jack Yu grew up in Chinatown. Some of his friends are criminals now; some are dead. Jack has just been transferred to his old neighborhood, where 99 percent of the cops are white. Unlike the others, confused by the residents who speak another language even when they’re speaking English, Jack knows what’s going on.
He is confronted with a serial rapist who preys on young Chinese girls. Then Uncle Four, an elderly and respected leader of the charitable Hip Ching Society and member of the Hong Kong-based Red Circle Triad, is gunned down. Jack learns that benevolent Uncle Four had a gorgeous young mistress imported from Hong Kong. And she is missing.
To solve these crimes, Jack turns to an elderly fortune teller, an old friend of his, in addition to employing modern police methods. This debut mystery power-fully conveys the sights, sounds, and smells of Chinatown, as well as the attitudes of its inhabitants.
From the Hardcover edition.
Praise for Chinatown Beat
“Chang has a cool, measured style that lets in some light . . . on a society that lives by its own rules.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“For readers who relish noir suspense, it doesn’t get much better than this stunning novel.”
“All the expected locales are here—gambling and dance halls, brothels, secret societies—but the author, who grew up in Chinatown, keeps things fresh by inserting Chinese phrases and explicating cultural folkways on nearly every page . . . This is a nasty, terse slice of noir, and Yu is a fellow whose adventures should be worth following.”
—Washington Post Book World
“Chinatown Beat is a classic noir, filled with longing, violence, and that uniquely urban melancholy, but it also brings something new to the table, a loving specificity of a people and place, the multicultures of New York’s Chinatown, that has rarely if ever been encountered in fiction before. A real discovery.”
—Richard Price, author of Lush Life, a New York Times Notably Book of the Year
“Here’s a dark slice of New York’s Chinatown that most of us . . . have probably never seen. Henry Chang takes us on an unforgettable guided tour of its lower depths. In a field awash with pallid noir thrillers, this one is the real thing. A genuine winner.”
—Herbert H. Lieberman, author of City of the Dead and Shadow Dancers
“A dramatic evocation of the exotic . . . More rewarding than a trip to Chinatown.”
—Qiu Xiaolong, author of Death of a Red Herione
“Chang’s debut novel is one of this year’s most impressive. Here, the object isn’t to figure out whodunit . . . The suspense comes from tracking Jack Yu through his investigation, navigating the shifting tides of Chinese turf wars, generational tension, and his own internal struggle with being a ‘standup Chinaman’ and an effective cop. This is a character well worth knowing.”
—January Magazine, Best Crime Fiction of 2006
From the Hardcover edition.