His name is Liu Chiang-hsin: “a mind as sharp as a sword.” But “Chinaman” is the name his friends and contacts use. Chinaman grew up in Beijing during the Mao era and was traumatized by seeing Red Guards beat his scholar-Father and drag him off; never to return.
Three decades later, Chinaman is a 35 year old private detective living in New York City’s East Village. The one woman who managed to penetrate his emotional defenses has been found murdered in New York City’s palace Hotel. As if that weren’t enough, he is unlucky enough to have, as his ex-father-in-law, Manhattan’s Chief of Detectives. Even worse, Chinaman finds himself in the position of enlisting his ex-wife’s help in solving the murder of the woman she found him in bed with—just before their divorce.
By using his computer, his fists, his wits, his contacts, and his knowledge of the streets, Chinaman tracks the murderers from Manhattan to Brooklyn’s bleak Red Hook area, with its cranes, transit sheds, canine-guarded warehouses and chain link fences topped with barbed wire.
If Liu can conquer his demons and finally put aside his past, he might just have a Chinaman’s chance of coming out alive.