“Bruce Lee was dead.
Vietnam was going to be completely communist. It was just a matter of signing the papers. That situation didn’t go over well with the NYPD, either. Apart from having to deal with war protests, a lot of cops and their brothers, fathers, and cousins were walking around carrying gook shrapnel, if they were still walking.
You can imagine what they thought of me. They didn’t know I fought on their side.
My name is Robert Chow. I had grown up in Chinatown before it became my beat. And it was the last place in the goddamned world I wanted to be.”
These are opening words from the narrator of Ed Lin’s latest novel, This Is A Bust. Taking place in New York Chinatown circa 1976, the story examines post-Vietnam America through the eyes of a hard drinking Chinese American cop and Vietnam vet. It is at once a noirish detective story and a gritty look at Chinatown and racial politics. Lin writes with a really smart and elegant style, the world he creates full of interesting characters. I loved this book.