cover image Death Doesn’t Forget

Death Doesn’t Forget

Ed Lin. Soho Crime, $27.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-64129-327-3

In Lin’s intriguing fourth novel starring Taipei food stall operator Jing-nan (after 2018’s 99 Ways to Die), Siu-lien, the mother of Jing-nan’s girlfriend, buys some cigarettes for her boyfriend, Boxer, and the receipt’s number is drawn in the latest government lottery, winning her 200,000 New Taiwan dollars. (To track taxable income, every receipt in Taiwan is automatically entered in this lottery, incentivizing consumers to request one.) Boxer and Siu-lien agree to split the money evenly, but after he cashes in the receipt, he reneges on their agreement. Jing-nan, who has become a celebrity thanks to his previous misadventures, agrees to try to recoup Siu-lien’s share, but he gets only a small portion of it from Boxer. Soon afterward, Boxer is bludgeoned to death, and the police focus on Jing-nan, the last person known to have seen him alive, and with a motive, as the killer. Lin ups the ante on his lead with a second murder, and once again he brings to life the sights and smells of the night market where Jing-nan works. Fans of recognizably human amateur sleuths will be pleased. Agent: Kirby Kim, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (July)