Michael Hawkins, 18, responding to an enigmatic message from his father in Hong Kong, leaves his English prep-school and flies out to join his rarely-seen pater in the Orient. Upon arrival, however, there's no sign of Hawkins, Sr.--only a hearty messenger who places Michael in a hotel, gives him money, and promises that Hawkins himself will appear soon. What's going on? Michael, who doesn't even know what his father does (something in ""government""), hasn't a clue--though he suspects that perhaps a divorce from Mrs. H. (back home) may be in the works. Still, this strangely cool young anti-hero takes the mystery in stride, exploring Hong Kong and striking up a teatime chumship with a colonial widow. He remains unflustered even when his father at last shows up--but only long enough to supply virginal Michael with a young Chinese mistress. (""His first authentic fuck was not, he decided, a momentous one."") It then comes as only a bit of a surprise that Hawkins Sr. is in big trouble: he's a Hong Kong police official quite rightly accused of corruption; in fact, the real reason for Michael's trip is so that he can secretly take charge of his father's booty--a million pounds in buried cash. And, as the corruption-trial gets underway, Michael proves himself his father's son by calmly taking care of the cash, killing an inconvenient dog. . . and blithely returning to school with a mild case of gonorrhea. A tale of coming-of-age via corruption? Well, perhaps. But Michael is a remote, faintly creepy lad from beginning to end--making this a strange little novel indeed, with hints of black comedy, shrewd comments on flashy/seedy Hong Kong, and a brisk enough pace to move a very thin story along painlessly.