Set in New York’s Chinatown in 1976, this sharp and gritty novel is a mystery set against the backdrop of a city in turmoil
Robert Chow is a Vietnam vet and an alcoholic. He’s also the only Chinese American cop on the Chinatown beat, and the only police officer who can speak Cantonese. But he’s basically treated like a token, trotted out for ribbon cuttings and community events.
So he shouldn’t be surprised when his superiors are indifferent to his suspicions that an old Chinese woman’s death may have actually been a murder. But he sure is angry. With little more than his own demons to fuel him, Chow must take matters into his own hands.
Rich with the details of its time and place, this homage to noir will appeal to fans of S.J. Rozan and Michael Connelly.
Thank you so for this interview, Robert Chow. Now that the book This Is a Bust has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
Honestly, this book makes me look a lot worse than I really am/was. Maybe I drank, but it wasn't a problem. At least three guys at the precinct were way worse than me. Know this about me: I am fully capable of not hating people.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
My gun. Ha ha, just kidding. I would say my ability to work hard and get promoted after making a stink about it.
I intervene at times to help those who don't deserve it and therefore interfere with the laws of evolution.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
Yeah. I'm not gonna drag her into this interview.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
I was nervous to the end. I'm still nervous. Man, if my partner reads this book, I'll just crawl into a hole or our office. Same thing.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?
I wouldn't wanna be anybody else. Everybody has problems that no one else is aware of. I'd rather stick to the struggles I know. At least I already have a handle on the best places to eat in Chinatown.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
It's okay. It ends funny. Why have me doing that? I should be ascending to a platform and have a gold medal placed around my neck!
What words of wisdom would you give your author if she decided to write another book with you in it?
Look deeply into your soul and ask if you're better than me. I think you think you are. Phooey.
Thank you for this interview. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
Yeah, soon. Unless I get killed in this one. Ooohhh....
Ed Lin, a native New Yorker of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards and is an all-around standup kinda guy. His books include Waylaid, and a trilogy set in New York’s Chinatown in the 70s: This Is a Bust, Snakes Can’t Run and One Red Bastard. Ghost Month, published by Soho Crime in July 2014, is a Taipei-based mystery, and Incensed, published October 2016, continues that series. Lin lives in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung, and son.
Connect with Ed at http://www.edlinforpresident.com or on social media at: