YEAR OF THE DOG by Henry Chang


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Detective Jack Yu finds that you can go home again but may not want to.

Armed with his new gold shield, Jack Yu, out of the Fifth Precinct (Chinatown), has been redeployed to the Ninth (Manhattan South), where he’s counting his blessings: fewer home-boy ties, less of the awkwardness of being the cheeky street kid turned law enforcement guy. Not that the Ninth is any picnic. It’s still New York City, after all, and man’s inhumanity to man, woman and child is still endemic. Within days of his arrival, Jack catches a multiple murder. That’s followed by the brutal killing of a Chinese-American honor student, barely in his teens, beaten to death for sneaker money. But Jack’s chosen a cop’s life unblinkered, and though it sometimes depresses him, it can hardly surprise him—until suddenly Chinatown reaches out for him again. A bloody shootout that threatens to escalate into full-blown tong warfare has made upper NYPD echelons very anxious. As a result, Jack finds himself on familiar turf, asking questions, sifting clues and rediscovering just how deeply his one-time friends and neighbors distrust cops.

As in Jack’s debut (Chinatown Beat, 2006), Chinatown is the hero here. Better say antihero, because while the picture is vivid and often compelling, it’s anything but pretty.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-56947-515-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Soho
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2008


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