Book Review: “Lucky” by Henry Chang

“Lucky” Louie, a Chinese gangster, and Detective Jack Yu grew up together in Chinatown, New York City. They were closer than brothers, blood brothers, but time and circumstance took them to different sides of the law.

As the story opens, Lucky is in the hospital in a coma recovering from his latest gun battle with other gangs. His coma last for eighty-eight days, a special number for the Chinese. Lucky knows it’s an omen. While he is in a coma, he can’t talk or see, but he can hear and listened to all of his “friends” dividing up his territory. He’s furious, but can’t do anything about it until he comes out of the coma. When he does, he embarks on a mission of revenge to take down the other gangs of Chinatown.

Waiting for Lucky to come out of his coma is Detective Jack Yu. He offers his friend safety under the witness protection program, but Lucky won’t hear it. Jack appears to be the token Chinese representative on the NYPD and is called upon for every crime that happens in Chinatown. He has a hunch that his friend, Lucky, is involved in the recent crime spree but can’t prove it.

This is an interesting book. The author was born and raised in Chinatown so he knows the area and the people well. His writing is in both Chinese and English, but most of his Chinese is limited to food dishes or simple phrases. Thankfully, he provides a short translation in most cases because I don’t understand any Chinese. This is the author’s fifth book and it was published in 2017.

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