PAPER FAN: The Hunt for Triad Gangster Steven Wong

Terry Gould, Author . Thunder's Mouth $16.95 (500p) ISBN 978-1-56025-622-9

Gould, a much awarded Canadian investigative journalist, recounts his 14-year odyssey in pursuit of a major Asian organized crime figure. Intriguing if overlong, Gould's story helps illuminate the little-known world of the Triads, a byzantine, diasporic Asian mafia. Led to Wong through young Asians in Vancouver who were systematically terrorized and recruited by local thugs, Gould undertakes a risky encounter with the young but powerful gang leader. Gould boldly and secretly records an interview with Wong in the criminal's home; the tape becomes the basis for a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary that provides law enforcement with valuable insight leading to the elusive Wong's arrest and indictment for large-scale heroin trafficking. But Wong gets permission to leave Canada for a family trip, and is then conveniently reported dead in an accident. That leads Gould to Macau, the Philippines and elsewhere on a decade-long chase for proof that Wong is alive. The narrative suffers from the colorful Wong's disappearance from view early on and from occasional lapses into purple prose ("terror sat naked on my shoulder like a clawed and drooling gargoyle"), but U.S. audiences who enjoy the chase will also learn about the brutal power and scope of the Triads. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/20/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-679-31355-7
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