Lawless Chinese capitalists attack lawless American capitalists in a smooth thriller that includes a little sex, the mob and a load of sewage.
Beautiful Jin Li, manager of a Manhattan office-cleaning firm, ducks death when she steps away for a pee on the beach while her Mexican cleaning crew, still smoking dope in their battered Toyota, drowns in a load of sewage dumped from a septic tank-cleaning truck through the car’s sunroof. It’s no industrial accident. The culprits were following orders on a job commissioned indirectly by an executive of Good Pharma, a pharmaceutical firm from whom Jin Li had been stealing information. The clues, pieced together from office wastebaskets, point to Jin Li’s brother Chen, a stupendously rich young Shanghai businessman with a greedy eye on Western markets. Jin Li goes into deep hiding and Chen flies over with some goons to find her, pressing into service Jin Li’s strong, silent, ex-boyfriend Ray Grant, using Ray’s dying father, a retired NYPD detective, as Ray’s pressure point. The senior Grant is on his way out of this world, eased by opiates, but he’s still got the stuff, pointing Ray in the right direction to find his terrified girlfriend. The route to Jin Li goes by way of the New York storm-sewer system, where Ray finds clues leading to the septic-cleaning firm, its evil hoodlum owner, the hoodlum’s dungeon room, the pharmaceutical firm and an extremely fierce and stupendously rich old investor who is seriously unhappy with Good Pharma’s sinking stock. Dancing in frantic fear on the sideline is the Good Pharma exec who started all the mischief and whose wife, a canny physician, has begun to discover her husband’s perfidy. Harrison (The Havana Room, 2004, etc.) keeps it all moving at a breakneck pace.
Love, lust, money, treachery, death and violence, all in a nice tidy package.