Monday, April 2, 2012

One Red Bastard-Ed Lin

One Red Bastard

Ed Lin

Minotaur, Apr 24 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780312660901

In 1976, The Republic of China on Taiwan and the People's Republic of China on the mainland battle for western recognition. At the same time the two China’s argue on the world stage, Chen Xiaochuan informs the State Department that Li Na, daughter of the late Mao Tse-tung, seeks asylum in the United States. Newswire reporter Lonnie interviews Chen, but soon afterward the latter’s body is found in Roosevelt Park; as the last person to see him alive the journalist is the prime suspect although there is plenty of others with political motives to kill Li’s representative.

Because he is Chinese-American and has had some success on cases (see This Is A Bust and Snakes Can’t Run), Lonnie’s boyfriend NYPD Officer Robert Chow leads the investigation with the brass insisting he find the killer immediately. Robert interviews representatives from the two Chinas while wondering why Artie Yee owner of Inside Chinatown is unconcerned that his offices were deliberately torched.

The latest Chow police procedural is a complicated historical that combines the international debate over the Chinas with a strong look at Manhattan’s Chinatown circa 1976 just a few years after the mainland replaced the island on the UN Security Council. The whodunit purposely is convoluted to reflect the complex world (including the Ford Administration) with Chinatown a microcosm of the debate. Readers will enjoy Ed Lin’s strong 1970s whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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