Recommended Reads from Raul, Part One

There’s plenty of mystery readers here at BookPeople, and Raul Chapa, our First Floor Inventory Manager, is one of the most prolific. Below, Raul reviews a few mysteries he’s been enjoying lately, some of which we’ve already gushed about on the blog, and some of which we’ve barely mentioned – until now.

9780399174551The Forgotten Girls by Owen Laukkanen

Along the most northern border of America, the High Line railway crosses some of the most wintry landscapes and is deadly on its own; however, a ghost rider travels the rails hunting and killing vulnerable women, has been doing it for years. When Mila’s friend, Ash, becomes the ghost rider’s next victim, she vows to travel the rail line to kill the rider and avenge her friend. A technological lark brings the attention of the FBI to this terror stalking the North, but Windermere and Stevens will have to hurry to catch Mila before she finds the rider – or he finds her. Another fantastic thriller from an author who writes with a fervor and passion that makes you want to stay up all night just to find out what happens next.

9780062386229Racing the Devil by Charles Todd

A rector from a small village is killed in an automobile accident and Rutledge is sent to investigate because the victim did not own the automobile, but rather borrowed it from the rural Squire, Captain Standish, without permission. Finding evidence that another car was involved, he begins to suspect that someone wanted the captain dead. But there is more to the tale and it all hangs on the promise of five young officers who served in the Somme offensive during the war; before the battle, they promised to meet again a year after the end of the war and celebrate their survival with a automobile race from Paris to Nice. What is the rector’s relationship to the officers who served together years ago? Could the accident the Standish suffered on the road to Nice have been an attempt on his life? Who is the party responsible? Rutledge has no clear suspects, but with more bodies piling up, he must find the person responsible and end a murder’s spree. Another fine mystery set in the English countryside.

9781939419958One Life by David Lida

A detailed legal thriller highlighting the terrors and helplessness of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States. Lida provides a fantastic survey of the obstacles and difficulties immigrants face with Esperanza, a woman accused of murdering her baby in Louisiana. After years of abuse and neglect, Esperanza finds herself at the whim of prosecutors and police who are skeptical of her; without the help of Richard, a mitigation specialist, she will be put to death. But finding outstanding circumstances to her case may prove more difficult than initially imagined, and Richard may be closer to the case than he realizes.

9781616957186August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones

Jones creates a wonderful character in August Snow – former Marine and ex-cop who stood up to a corrupt mayor and police department in Detroit only to lose his job and win a 12 million wrongful termination suit that tossed that mayor out and landed him and many officers in jail. After returning to the city, he is asked by an extremely rich widow whom he helped years ago to look into some strange happenings in the bank she owns. When she is found dead, Snow finds himself in the cross hairs of some very dangerous criminals determined to take control of the bank and wipe him off the face of the earth. Snow is not intimidated and this leads to a thrilling and violent conclusion. An great debut mystery that will attract fans of mysteries involving the rich and powerful and the secrets they keep.

9781681443898Coffin Road by Peter May

A man wakes up on a beach in the Scottish Hebrides with no memory of who he is or how he got there; a teenage girl mourns for her father who took his own life two years ago; a grizzled Scottish detective follows the clues surrounding the murder of a man at an isolated lighthouse – these threads come together in an absolutely mind blowing environmental mystery along the lines of Nevada Barr and C.J. Box. Secrets abound in this work and nothing is as it appears, but May is a master storyteller who deftly weaves the threads into a magnificent tapestry involving nature and corrupt agricultural and pharmaceutical companies that strive to suppress important information from the world at large; companies not above destroying lives and making people disappear. A stand alone thriller that will grip you from the first page.

9781250105790Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino

While it is said that evil does bad things, true evil – that dark malevolence that seethes in the blackest places and broods – manipulates others into doing its dirty work, and Higashino’s new book is a vivid study of true evil over the span of twenty years. The murder of a pawnbroker in 1973 is the core crime that Detective Sasakagi cannot solve and won’t forget – especially in relation to Ryo, the murdered man’s son and Yuhiko, the daughter of the murdered man’s lover. A complex novel with fantastic character development Higashino plays with concepts of guilt, morality and love as seen through the eyes of the myriad characters who come and go in the novel. We become aware how many pieces of the puzzle fit into place by reading between the lines, for Higashino is a master of giving you only so much to go on and the reader having to draw his or her own conclusions. The book shifts gears toward the end becoming much more of a thriller as the pages run down and the ultimate truth is revealed only at the end. Wondrous and absolutely impossible to put down, Under the Midnight Sun is another triumph for this master of the genre who will undoubtedly win new fans with this marvelous mystery novel.

9781632864529Willnot by James Sallis

Having not read Sallis before, I was totally surprised to find his character of Dr. Lamar Hale so appealing and heart warming. A small town doctor who gets wrapped up in a profound mystery that recalls the brilliance of Le Carre and Russo. Some bodies are found buried in an abandoned yard; a mysterious former Marine sniper shows up after years away; a secretive FBI agent comes to town pursuing the former sniper. Not all is what it seems, for soon the sniper is himself shot, but escapes from the hospital, and the FBI agent may not know the whole truth, or maybe she has her own secrets. When Hale’s partner is also shot, the serene town of Willnot is thrown into chaos. Absorbing and full of beautiful sentences that will mesmerize you, Sallis’ character study will move you with its profound nature.

9780316261241Underground Airlines by Ben Winters

Victor is an African American working undercover for the US Marshal’s service intent on taking down an organization known for rescuing slaves from the southern states. Did I mention that the Civil War never happened or that Lincoln was assassinated earlier in his political career? These rifts make for an America where slavery holds in the Hard Four and freedom for all does not include all African Americans. Winters has taken what is contemporary to our troubles and placed those ideas in a fictional world where the issues can be examined from a different perspective. Absolutely brilliant and thrilling! Victor’s character will seduce you and make you rethink many things; most importantly, he is tragically flawed and what he really wants will shake everything we take for granted about civil rights, but you will love him too.

You can find copies of the above recommended reads on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

 

Crime Fiction Friday: “Socket To Me” by Glenn Gray

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  • Selected and Introduced by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Glenn Gray’s short stories are like bloody car wrecks – gross, but we’re compelled to watch. In this piece published in Shotgun Honey, he gets started with an innovative method of drug smuggling and things get darker from there.

“Socket To Me” by Glenn Gray

“Selma dug into her right orbit, using her curved index finger as a tool, and popped her right eyeball out of its socket.”

Read the rest of the story.

International Crime Fiction Pick: POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON’T LOOK FRIENDLY by Adrian McKinty

  • Post by Director of Suspense Molly Odintz

9781633882591We read a wide array of international detective fiction here at MysteryPeople, and, of course, we each have our favorites. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (and even more in honor of the year-round excellence that defines Irish crime fiction) we’re highlighting some work, past and present, from our favorite Irish detective novelists. Last Thursday, Scott Montgomery took us through an underappreciated new classic – Cross, by Ken Bruen. Today, we’re diving into Adrian McKinty’s latest Sean Duffy novel, Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly, released this March, and which just so happens to feature a few words of praise for the author on the back cover from yours truly.

Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series, set in the 80s in Northern Ireland, weaves real events (such as Margaret Thatcher’s attempted assassination, the closing of the Delorian factory, and Muhammed Ali’s visit to the troubled region) together with fiendishly plotted mysteries. McKinty doesn’t use his crime fiction to paint a black and white portrait of good and evil – his settings are too historically messy, his characters too finely crafted, to devolve into stereotype. In McKinty’s Duffy series, paramilitaries commit petty crimes for personal reasons; corrupt officials occasionally compensate for their fall from grace with a touch of honor; policemen steal drugs from the evidence room…In short, no easy line exists between the personal and the political, and even though most plotlines trace back to MI5  or the IRA, it’s never for the reasons one would think.

His latest, Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendlystarts with Duffy on a late night walk from an IRA assassination squad, then backtracks to an unusual murder for Belfast – death by crossbow. A drug dealer has been shot in the back, and when Duffy arrives at the crime scene, he can already tell this case will not go smoothly. His supervisor and the forensics team have come and gone, just long enough to mess up the crime scene, and his stoic partner’s been stabbed (not fatally) by the dealer’s weeping widow. As Duffy starts to look into the dealer’s death, he has trouble discovering a motive for the man’s demise. After all, he paid up in protection money to the paramilitaries, and vigilante justice outside of the paras would hardly have been welcomed in the hardcore paramilitary-controlled neighborhood in which the dealer was found.

A case starting off in chaos? Duffy can handle that. He’s beset by plenty of other problems, though, and his personal life may combine with his professional life to inspire Duffy once and for all to toss in the towel. A health inspection leads to orders to quit smoking immediately and curtail his drinking as much as possible (those familiar with Duffy’s addictions may chuckle at the idea that he could possibly be expected to give up smoking). His new supervisor has risen to the level of his own incompetence, proof that in an oppressive state, the bureaucrat climbs to power while the talented fail to break through the glass ceiling of mediocrity. His girlfriend’s prosperous Protestant father wants the family to move to the countryside, but Duffy’s happy living on Coronation Road, where he knows his neighbors, he knows which of his neighbors have machine guns, and especially, he knows which of those neighbors might be willing to come to his aid. Adding to Sean’s stress is a resurgence of the Troubles brought on by attacks on civilian attendees at two paramilitary funerals.

As Duffy investigates the dealer’s murder, seemingly a small-time affair in a country consumed by politicized violence, he encounters missing files, escalating threats, and increasing suspicion that this case may connect to the Troubles in a wholly unsuspected manner. Now that Duffy’s got a family, he may have finally given up on his death wish, but others still seek an end to his questions and will do what they can to put the man and his family in danger. Even those readers who’ve gotten used to the dangers faced by a Catholic policeman in 1980s Northern Ireland will experience a few heart-pounding moments of worry.

Like much of the best international crime fiction, McKinty’s Sean Duffy novels overlap with historical fiction, and while reading McKinty’s latest, I got to thinking about one of my favorite literary concepts.  Bakhtin’s literary concept of the chronotope, inspired by Einstein’s theory of relativity, posits that space and time are intertwined and thus must be examined together – not only in science, but in the study of literature and history, and in the study of passage of time and description of place within a contained work. International crime fiction takes place equally in time and space. When we read historical crime fiction set in other countries, at other times, we experience a doubled window into the chronotope of that space, in that time. In crime fiction set now, we experience the geography of setting as a chronotope, where each street holds the weight of its history.

Adrian McKinty’s works help fill in the many layered chronotope of Northern Ireland in the 1980s, a time period marked by disillusionment and strife. His distance from his setting – both in time and space – lends a wider perspective to each work in the series, but the problems of the period hit home with small details as much as vast conspiracies. When Duffy checks under his car for mercury tilt bombs, he does it casually, because he’s been living in a state of perpetual violence for decades. If this book were a memoir by a real-life Duffy, he probably wouldn’t even mention such an everyday occurrence. For the reader, this everyday act pushes us past our knowledge of the Troubles’ eventual end, and into the mindset of those experiencing the ever-present violence of a conflict with seemingly no end.

You can find copies of Police at the Station on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

MysteryPeople Review: THE PAINTED GUN by Bradley Spinelli

  • Review by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

9781617754982Postmodern private eye novels are always a tight rope for an author. Referencing classic works and their style often reminds the reader of the old masters that did it better. It is a matter of tone that is usually the deciding factor for if these works measure up to those they imitate, something Bradley Spinelli uses to great effect in his new novel, The Painted Gun.

First, he introduces us to a hero who balances familiarity and freshness, then drops him into a provocative premise. David Crane works as an information consultant in mid-nineties San Francisco, talking and narrating in a hard-boiled style that never becomes tongue in cheek. Down near his last dollar, he takes a case from a shady detective from L.A. It seems that people are looking for a mysterious artist only know as Ash. The only clue, her paintings are of Crane at various moments of his life.

The San Francisco setting helps make the story work. The home of the great Dashiell Hammett lends itself to the nostalgia of the story. One can accept Crane’s hard-boiled voice echoing Sam Spades’s and The Continental Op’s as he travels down the same alleyways they did over fifty years before. Since San Francisco has long been known for its diverse communities and counter-culture eccentrics, Spinelli is able to populate the mystery with modern artists, old school gangsters in shark skin suits, and lesbian gun club owners.

The Painted Gun is a fun romp of an old-school detective novel with a few post-modern tweaks. It’s full of fist fights, shoot outs, and wise cracks, taking a few peculiar twists that prove many times to be poignant. In David Crane’s world, art, love, politics, and murder are hard to separate.

You can find copies of The Painted Gun on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

Murder in the Afternoon Book Club to Discuss: THE SYMPATHIZER by Viet Thanh Nguyen

  • Post by Director of Suspense Molly Odintz

The Murder in the Afternoon Book Club meets to discuss Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer on Monday, March 20th, at 1 PM. You can find copies of The Sympathizer on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

9780802124944Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer has left me stunned. This hybrid spy-novel-cum-literary-satire won the Edgar Award in 2015 (which is how I convinced the Murder in the Afternoon Book Club to read it) and the Pulitzer the same year, which should begin a long career of appreciation in highbrow and lowbrow circles alike.

At face value, The Sympathizer is a Vietnam War novel from the Vietnamese perspective, ostensibly the perfect place for American readers to immerse themselves in the Vietnamese experience. Yet what Nguyen does best in the novel is expose hypocrisy. Rather than gently guide his readers into unknown waters, he plunges us into confrontation with our own assumptions, our own prejudices, and our own pompous behavior. While reading it, I felt more blown away by observations about the American character than any points about Vietnamese society.

Nguyen’s main character, his father a French priest and his mother a Vietnamese villager, epitomizes the hypocrisy and messiness of colonialism. Unable to find full acceptance in any one faction due to the ill combination of his birth and politics, Nguyen’s protagonist flees North Vietnam early in life, fearful that his French parentage would lead to his demise at the hands of the anti-colonial communists.

He finds South Vietnam to be an exploited puppet of the United States, and determines to aid the revolution as best he can. Despite his new community’s disdain at his bastard status, he uses his quick wits to gain employment in the South Vietnamese army for a wealthy, skilled military leader. Divided between his politics and his professionalism, as a double agent, the narrator can’t help but do a good job for both his employers, even as he cannot help but critique the gaps between each system’s promises and results.

Able to navigate many worlds, the narrator can always see both sides, and is ill at ease identifying wholly with any one philosophy. He understands the faults and the appeals of North and South Vietnam, the indulgence of capitalism and the righteousness of revolution, the flight to safe refuge and the longing to return home, the charisma of one friend and the suffering of another. He understands that with multiple interventions and endless war, the extreme corruption of South Vietnam and spartan purity of North Vietnam only intensified over time. He points out the absurdities of each system, yet reserves his most powerful critique for the most powerful player.

Nguyen’s sardonic pillorying of America’s loose attachment to its self-professed mores echoes Graham Greene’s bitter English reporter in The Quiet American, yet without Greene’s tendency to exoticize the other. Nguyen not only rejects previous portrayals of the conflict – he is in direct conversation with them. He does not indulge in writing stereotypes instead of characters, and his nameless narrator has numerous opportunities to critique representation. Nguyen sketches the lazy, two-tone figures that fill the nightmares and ambitions of soldiers, directors, politicians and academicians, and starkly illustrates the gap between Vietnam in American imaginations and Vietnam in real life.

No where does Nguyen draw this point more clearly  than with his female characters, who refuse to become mistresses ready to lay down their lives for their soldier paramours, lusty hookers prepared to take on the navy, or degendered revolutionaries inhumanly committed to the cause, yet the moment an American creates a Vietnamese character, they immediately revert to stereotype, as in the book’s meta-history of American cinematic representation of the war.

Nguyen points out in The Sympathizer that while history is usually written by the victors, the American defeat in Vietnam was eclipsed by the American dominance in the culture industries. American-produced films, shot in the Philippines, determined how the world would remember the war – with extras given few lines and representing mere foils to the drama between white characters. No need to be sensitive when you control the entire production of culture, and thus have secure control over the production of  your own image.

He also draws attention to how American stories of Vietnamese refugees – whether news or novels – treat the refugee experience in a vacuum, rather than acknowledging that those fleeing to the United States for refuge have had their lives compromised by the United States in  the first place – either by bombs or through collaboration. This struck me as the most relevant point to our current political situation – America creates refugee crises, and refuses to accept responsibility. When people flee their countries for the US, it is for the most part because those nations have been bombed to smithereens and destabilized for decades by trigger-happy war hawks from our own shores.

Like his depiction of refugees and representation,  Nguyen’s take on the truth makes a specific statement about the war and expands to a much larger point about humanity. The Sympathizer is a story of double agents, a archetypal tale of tricksters and despots, a tale of liars and hypocrites. I’d like to draw a distinction between a liar and a hypocrite.

A great liar is one who has been abused, one who has learned to manipulate the truth for their own safety, one who must look to the angry face of a changeable master and know that their next words could determine their entire futures. Lies are the performance of submission, and behind the mask the liar plots for independence. Lies are part and parcel of the asymmetrical warfare that has characterized colonial and domestic conflicts since World War II, with a longer history stretching to the dawn of inequality. They are a weapon to be used, because they are used by those with few weapons in the first place.

Hypocrites are like internet trolls. They feel no attachment to their claims, because they will never have to follow them up with action.They can make a joke about poverty because they are not economically vulnerable, and they can pretend that a prostitute loves her work and a wife loves her place in the home and a mistress loves her soldier because they refuse to accept the economic nature of their most intimate relationships. They can criticize an entire society, because they have never bothered to look at their own.  They can promise, and fail to deliver on their words, because they are too powerful to be beholden to one considered lesser. Better to be a liar, a trickster – be the person you have to be, to survive, and take strength from the ability to hold back a truth and thus, for a little while longer, control your own fate.

In case you hadn’t guessed where I was going with this, the colonizer is the hypocrite – the colonized is the liar. When you’re getting paid to be exploited, like any nanny or therapist can attest to, any intimacy created in such circumstances ends when the money stops, you get a better offer, or you find a way to reject your pittance and pigeon-holed existence in favor of what you really want. In this struggle between the casual hypocrisy of power, and the mask worn by the oppressed, the double agent wins.

The Murder in the Afternoon Book Club meets to discuss Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer on Monday, March 20th, at 1 PM. You can find copies of The Sympathizer on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

Shotgun Blast From the Past: CROSS by Ken Bruen

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

9780312538842Cross, by Ken Bruen, is the sixth book  to feature his caustic “finder” (detective is a suspicious word in Ireland), Jack Taylor. I feel it is one of his lesser lauded novels in the series. This could possibly be because it is often considered a sequel to the fifth book, Priest, and can’t be discussed without dropping spoilers from the previous novel (WARNING- That will happen in the next paragraph). However, it is one of the most focused and emotionally resonate books in the series. Here, Bruen seems intent on getting Jack to another place in his life. Apparently to do this he had to destroy the man he introduced us to in The Guards.

Cross starts out very soon after Priest as Jack faces the fallout from the previous volume’s events. His surrogate son, Cody, lies in a coma, from a bullet probably meant for Jack. Jack suspects the person who fired it could be Cathy, a former friend whose child died under Jack’s drug-addled baby sitting. After going cold-turkey sober, he is approached with two jobs. First, he’s hired to look into a rash of dog disappearances (Jack subcontracts this gig to another former guard). His next case is brought in by his pal in the guards, Ridge. She knows being a lesbian has hampered her rise in the ranks and thinks solving the crucifixion death of a young man may make her career. She asks for Jack’s assistance.

Bruen uses every interpretation of the book’s title. Jack’s sobriety seems more about penance than healing. He wants to feel the guilt fully. Bruen uses “cross” to mean a journey both physical and emotional, and since this is a crime novel one can expect the definition as both betrayal and harm. Bruen quotes from other works using the word at the beginning of every chapter.

This is a pivotal novel for Jack Taylor both in his life and how he is written. He is beginning to make more serious decisions and plans. His sobriety brings a clarity to his emotions and we empathize more with his struggles. Early in the series Jack could come off as all attitude, an aging punk looking for something or someone to lash out at or a way to go out in a blaze of glory. Here you realize the self loathing was a defense and as it turns on Jack, Bruen cuts deeper into the character than he ever has before.

Cross is a seminal work in one of modern crime fiction’s best series. Bruen always touches the dark, but here you feel its full force because Jack can. You watch the breaking of a man, see the possible hope of his rebirth, and from what we’re told, it will be a painful one.

You can find copies of Cross on our shelves and via bookpeople.com

 

Life Is a Gamble and There Are No Guarantees: MysteryPeople Q&A with Henry Chang

  • Interview by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

Henry Chang’s Lucky is the fifth book in his series featuring NYPD detective Jack Yu. That said, much of the novel deals with Jack’s criminal bloodbrother, Tat – also known as”Lucky.” Tat is a former Ghost Legion gang leader, who comes out of an 88 day coma after being shot in the head twice. 88 is considered a number of high luck and Louie presses it by getting some the old gang back together for a spate of daring robberies against some of the leaders of Chinatown’s organized crime. It’s up to Jack to stop his friend before his luck turns bad. This is the most action packed book in the series yet, and still gives us a great look into New York’s Chinatown. Recently, Henry Chang was kind enough to take a few questions from us.

 

MysteryPeople Scott: Even though all your work is tight, Lucky had even a tighter pace to it. Where you conscious of that while you were writing?

Henry Chang: The tightness of the pace was an adjustment to the storytelling style. Lucky‘s written more like a thriller than a mystery, where you can’t wait to see what Lucky does next. Unlike Jack’s usual investigative mysteries, which can meander culturally as the clues arise, Lucky is an escalating conflict-driven crime world drive-by. Lucky’s actions drive the narrative.

MPS: The series is known as the Jack Yu series, but you usually spend as much time with the person Jack is hunting down. What made you want to delve more into Louie?

HC: Dailo Lucky, – Tat ‘Lucky’ Louie – is one of the dynamic characters from my first book Chinatown Beat. As he was a ‘Big brother’ (dailo) streetgang warlord in NYC’s Chinatown, I felt he could have had a book all his own. He didn’t drive Chinatown Beat ( that would be Mona, the victim femme fatale ) but Lucky is Jack’s Chinatown bloodbrother, sharing a childhood relationship both brotherly and brutal. He didn’t appear in Red Jade, or Death Money, but here’s his return, with I hope, a big Bang!

Lucky is Lucky’s story.

MPS: As a fan of heist stories, I loved the fact that there were a few handful of robberies committed by Louie and his crew. What’s the key to writing a good robbery sequence?

HC: To me, a couple of things are important to a robbery scenario; the threat of, or the use of violence, fear; and the value of the heist, both from a profit-wise, and an emotional capital point of view. You can choose your tool for inspiring fear as befits the scenario, anything from nail guns to surgical instruments to the guns and knives of hostage kidnap. How much money was the heist worth? How much emotional capital was it worth? Revenge? How sweet?

In Lucky, each heist escalates into greater risk – greater reward territory. But the ‘Lucky Eight’ are on a roll. From robbing a tong money-drop to taking down a thriving gambling den, revenge also drives the events in Lucky’s world.

Trouble is, Lucky’s rampage has become Detective Jack’s problem.

MPS: The idea of luck plays a part in the book. What did you want to explore about it?

HC: There’s a saying: ” It’s better to be lucky than good.” Lucky is lucky to have Detective Jack in his corner, is lucky that ‘Murphy’s Law’ hasn’t caught up with him sooner. Luck is unpredictable, and every lottery has a winner. People survive plane crashes and natural disasters. People are born into wealth, and opportunity. Some casino gamblers are lucky.
Then again, people suffer from all forms of misfortune where they’re entirely not at fault. We file that under ‘crap happens.’ How does luck deliver itself to people? No one knows.
Lucky is lucky. Two to the head. Surprised he wasn’t dead. That’s the nature of luck. Life is a gamble and there are no guarantees.

MPS: How has Jack changed since Chinatown Beat?

HC: Since Chinatown Beat, Jack has hardened, has become more cynical. He’s found, and lost love. He’s suffered more physical wounds from violent encounters, and since the FBI or the ATF could be calling, he wonders if he really wants to be an NYPD cop anymore.
Lucky is likely the last Detective Jack Yu book.

MPS: Has Chinatown changed much since the series?

HC: Manhattan’s Chinatown ( there are three Chinatowns in NYC now ) continues to ‘gray out’ ( older residents are dying out and rampant gentrification has displaced people and businesses. Non-Asians are a greater presence in the neighborhood.On the other hand, newer Chinese immigrants ( the Fukinese) have brought new energy and investment, and unfortunately, more crime.There are flourishing Chinatowns in Brooklyn and Queens now but my hometown Manhattan Chinatown is still the godfather of them all. There’s big history here, and American-Chinese know it.

You can find copies of Lucky on our shelves and via bookpeople.com