Chicago bounty hunter Evan Maitland finds himself in the middle of a turf war between rival Chinese-American triads.
When the Wu-Chai Triad, based in San Francisco but minded to expand, wants someone executed, they usually hire out-of-town talent for the job. So it is that Frank Chang, a Red Pole for New York’s White Lotus Triad, finds himself in Chicago with two other enforcers from Vancouver and Hong Kong. Their job is to open new avenues for Preston Wong’s Chicago chapter of the Wu-Chai by killing two members of the rival Red Lantern Triad: chemist Robert Wo and importer/money launderer Raymond Liu. But the first hit gets complicated when a cop gets in the way, leading to an unexpected spasm of violence that puts Frank seriously on the outs with his employer. And the second is witnessed by Bianca Garibaldi, Maitland’s partner in the antiques business that sustains him when he’s not tracking down bail-jumpers. Naturally, taking care of Bianca becomes Wong’s first priority. But it’ll be scarcely less surprising to readers of Maitland Under Siege (2006) that Wong’s just as intent on punishing Frank, or that their common enemy brings the assassin and the bounty hunter into an alliance that’s strengthened by Hunt’s penchant for nonstop action, which makes it unnecessary for them ever to discuss their very real differences.
Lots of killing, lots of tough guys leading double lives, lots of information about the triads. But its plot, derivative and even more predictable than usual, makes this the weakest of Maitland’s four adventures to date.