The Pequod Review:
Ross Thomas’s eleventh novel, Chinaman’s Chance, is another superb noir, with some of his best characters and wittiest prose. The opening paragraph sets the tone:
The pretender to the Emperor’s Throne was a fat thirty-seven-year-old Chinaman called Artie Wu who always jogged along Malibu Beach right after dawn even in summer, when dawn came round as early as 4:42. It was while jogging along the beach just east of the Paradise Cove pier that he tripped over a dead pelican, fell, and met the man with six greyhounds. It was the sixteenth of June, a Thursday.
The rest of the book becomes a story of political corruption, as Artie Wu and Quincy Durant (two off-beat characters from earlier Thomas novels) are hired to find a missing pop singer believed to have killed her boyfriend (who happens to be a U.S. congressman). The plot is complex and sometimes threatens to get away from itself, but Thomas has once again created an entirely unique thriller that combines suspense, international politics, morally ambiguous characters, and a lot of cynical humor. Highly recommended.