cover image Second Sister

Second Sister

Chan Ho-Kei, trans. from the Chinese by Jeremy Tiang. Black Cat, $17 trade paper (512p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2947-5

Nga-Yee Au, the heroine of this clever, twisty novel set in Hong Kong from Chan (The Borrowed), who has devoted herself to taking care of her 15-year-old sister, Siu-Man, after the death of their widowed mother, is devastated to learn that Siu-Man has jumped to her death from their apartment window. After Siu-Man’s death, Nga-Yee learns that, over a period of months leading to the suicide, Siu-Man was the victim of a subway groper, Shiu Tak-Ping, who was convicted of sexual abuse and sent to prison. Siu-Man was subsequently subject to cyberbullying and harassment from someone claiming to be Tak-Ping’s nephew, who insisted that his uncle was framed. Nga-Yee is determined to hold the nephew accountable for Siu-Man’s death, and after the PI she hires learns that Tak-Ping has no nephew, he directs her to an eccentric investigator, who just calls himself N, to track down the impersonator. The reveals are both logical and surprising, and Chan populates the plot with realistic characterizations. Fans of hacker thrillers such as Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander books will be amply rewarded. Agent: Markus Hoffmann, Regal Hoffmann & Assoc. (Feb.)