Read Year of the Dog by Henry Chang Online


A rollercoaster ride with NYPD Detective Jack Yu, illuminating the underground world of Chinatown gambling, smuggling, and protectionHe’s been transferred to a different precinct, but Detective Jack Yu cannot get away from Chinatown’s criminals—his old friends—who have hooked up with the Hong Kong-based triads in an elaborate nationwide credit card fraud. He also cannot esA rollercoaster ride with NYPD Detective Jack Yu, illuminating the underground world of Chinatown gambling, smuggling, and protectionHe’s been transferred to a different precinct, but Detective Jack Yu cannot get away from Chinatown’s criminals—his old friends—who have hooked up with the Hong Kong-based triads in an elaborate nationwide credit card fraud. He also cannot escape the Chinese victims whose stories cry out for justice, like the teenage Chinese take-out delivery boy brutally murdered in the projects....

Title : Year of the Dog
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781569475157
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Year of the Dog Reviews

  • Maddy
    2018-12-01 10:31

    PROTAGONIST: Jack Yu, NYPD DetectiveSETTING: New YorkSERIES: #2 of 2RATING: 3.25The best immigration stories have to deal with the successful acculturation of a minority group into its new community. The worst are those that have the newcomers joining in to the fringe groups, participating in the pillaging of a society rather than contributing to it in a positive way. Unfortunately, the latter is the situation for many of the residents of the Chinatown community in New York City. The criminal element is becoming larger and more diverse; in addition to the Hong Kong-based triads, there is a group of Fukienese coming into power, resulting in turf wars with the established gangs.Detective Jack Yu has just been transferred from a precinct where he was the only Asian member. In spite of the fact that he is no longer assigned to Chinatown cases, he can't escape what is going on in the area. One of his old friends, Tat Louie, also known as "Lucky", is a mob head and gang leader of one of the older groups. He's up against the Chinese triads and Fukienese. One of his competitors, Gee Sin, is a triad member who is masterminding a huge credit card fraud ring. Life on the streets is very mean, indeed. In addition to the specter of rival gangs threatening, virulent racism is the order of the day. Non-Chinese thugs continually engage in violent racist acts against their Asian neighbors.The narrative details the actions of Lucky, Gee Sin, a bookie named Sai Go, and several others. Frankly, I was confused by all of the various gang characters, perhaps because their names were so foreign to me and I had difficulty relating to most of them. Similarly, I found the book to be very hard to follow. Chang used a lot of Chinese words throughout. Although he defined the words, each time a new word or phrase was introduced, it pulled me out of the story. When phrases were used more than once, I almost never could remember what they meant, which led to a frustrating feeling of non-comprehension.CHINATOWN BEAT, the first book in this series, was a top read for me. I really empathized with the protagonist and anguished over the discrimination that he faced as a result of his heritage. THE YEAR OF THE DOG was much less personal, other than in one vignette involving the horrific violence done to a hard-working teenager who didn't deserve what happened to him. It was much harder to become emotionally engaged when faced with the broad brush of racist treatment against a whole group rather than specific individuals, particularly when almost all of the victims were criminals in their own right. There was an angry undertone to the book that somewhat diluted its message, in my opinion. On the other hand, Chang does a marvelous job of detailing the setting, whether that be a specific part of a neighborhood or an individual's apartment.Although I was somewhat disappointed in YEAR OF THE DOG, I will definitely be looking for the next book in the series, as I think that Chang has some real talent as an author.

  • Ed
    2018-11-21 09:33

    "Year of the Dog" picks up soon after "Chinatown Beat" ends, back in Manhattan but with Jack Yu transfered from his Chinatown precinct to a one a bit farther west. He is drawn back to his old beat by a number of grisly murders on which he is asked to help. But while the first book was partially a police procedural, this one is more a criminal procedural, describing in detail how human trafficing, credit card fraud and illegal gambling are organized and controlled; how the lucrative territories in Chinatown for extortion, pimping and thuggery, some only a few blocks square, are divided among the various Triad-run gangs and how the linguistic/ethnic prejudices of China are recreated in New York. There are mercilessly detail descriptions of murders, usually through the flat prose of medical examiner's reports being read by Detective Yu and more discussion of the horrors that await newly arrived undocumented immigrants in Manhattan and Brooklyn. An excellent follow up to the first Jack Yu book with all the strengths of "Chinatown Beat". Despite the gritty, despairing, angry lives of the characters the it finishes on an upbeat note as the year of the Dog ends and the Year of the Pig, a year that should be full of strength, fortitude, intelligence and honesty.

  • Pygmy
    2018-11-27 07:18

    Well...I went in expecting a crime mystery, and what I got was a not-quite-slice-of-life of various lowlifes in Chinatown, plus random tidbits of the detective who is supposedly the focus of this novel...except his story only takes up at most a quarter of the book, and very little of that is investigating. The other portraits of various gangsters, a bookie, an illegal immigrant hairdresser, etc. are only tangentially related to Detective Jack Yu if at all, and most of the events are not related to any cases he is working on. Jack Yu had the potential to be an interesting character, but with so little time devoted to developing him, he became somewhat bland. All the other characters flickering back and forth on the pages had an equal amount of blandness, not helped by the fact that they were not sympathetic characters. I did enjoy the Chinatown environment and had fun picking out the Cantonese terms and Chinatown streets that I recognized. There really aren't enough Asian/Cantonese-centric fiction out there. But I would have prefered if there was a strong, over-arching storyline to get involved in.

  • David Caldwell
    2018-12-07 05:17

    I won a copy on Goodreads Firstreads.This is not your typical mystery.It does not follow one single thread of a story and say there you go.There are several threads that twist and twine to make the story.There is Detective Jack Yu who has managed to leave the 05 precinct but will Chinatown's troubles pull him back? Another thread follows the older bookie who is dying of cancer.You also learn about Lucky, the dailo(boss)of the ghost legion gang and childhood friend of Detective Yu. Kid Koo, leader of the star gang that is now part of the ghost legion, provides another thread. Finally there is Bo who cuts hair to pay back the tong for smuggling her into the country. All of these threads help to weave the dark tapestry of the story set in the criminal underworld of Chinatown.The setting and cultural mix will be as alien as those from a sci-fi novel for many people.This just makes it all the more enjoyable, knowing that it is real.It is a gritty story, definitely not a light summer read.A couple of minor typos and a case of someone turning off the same TV twice, but nothing too distracting. So if you are looking for a heavier story this one is extremely satisfying.

  • Emily
    2018-11-24 07:37

    I don't usually like novels that are more a series of loosely connected events but Chang made it work here. I assumed the dead family at the beginning would be a central mystery to the book, but I was pleasantly surprised when the story veered into less predictable avenues.

  • Jim Leckband
    2018-12-05 05:19

    Forget what you think you know about Chinatown. This book was obviously written by somebody who knows the territory inside and out. The gangsters, the illegal immigrants, the gambling, the mainland connections and rituals are all here in the book.It might seem that with all this happening, the book would get bogged down. Chang does a nice job of short chapters where he only describes the minimum of what you need to know.Jake Gittes in the movie "Chinatown" was bedeviled by the incongruous nature of Los Angeles's Chinatown. That was because he was an outsider - inside Changs Chinatown, everybody knows what's really going down in betrayals, murders and other illegal activities. It's a shame that this book is the second of a series when I didn't read the first book. There is a lot of unfinished business carrying over from the first and a lot of unfinished business is going to carry over to the next. I definitely think it is better to read these in sequence!Chinatown is not a romantic place in this gritty noir, but I'm glad that Chang has stripped away a lot of the misconceptions us westerners commonly have.

  • Sam
    2018-11-30 05:32

    Year of The Dog is the 2nd Jack Yu book and my 1st. I won this from Goodreads. I'm kind of confused by the book mainly because none of the crimes seem to tie into each other like they do in detective novels and the chapters seemed to jump all around. The book starts off with a family suicide and then was quickly dropped. Then it goes into a long description of Chinese gangs and the triads and then you get a glimpse of some of the people. Not enough to really get to know them. Jack does alot of reminiscing about his father who has passed, and restaurants and food he would buy his father, maybe eat maybe not. He doesn't seem to have a car, either personal or police so he either walks to crime scenes or I guess takes a bus which I find ridiculous. There isn't much detective work and hardly any people interaction. Jack seems to be a loner and is pretty much depressing to read about. That said I had already bought the first book before I read the second and I will give it a try but Jack will have to lighten up a lot before I buy another.

  • Carmen
    2018-12-10 10:08

    Goodreads win.Really fun book to read, especially when you understand the Cantonese words before you read what it meant hahah. Definitely not considered a mystery if that's what you're looking for. As a precaution though, there are some really "dirty" scene's in this book, quite disgusting Story takes place in 1994 (Year of the Dog) with Detective Jack Yu, an American born Chinese who solves the many cases in Chinatown (CT); murder, homicides, gang-related activities, you name it... Then, you have his one-time-blood-brother Lucky, Lucky's followers, and an old bookie who's dying of cancer but encounters a woman in his dying days. They all play out as a part of the underworld Chinese people during the time of 1994 in Chinatown, NYC when different regions of Chinese people are immigrated or snugged into America. ~3.5 out of 5 stars

  • Viktor
    2018-12-15 06:21

    Not a procedural. So get over that right now. It's a slow motion, slice of life view of what leads up to a horrible crime. Amazing stuff. After reading this, I jumped right into #3.No, the events here are not reproduced in #3, as some idiot said in another review. Some descriptions of people and places are reproduced, that's all. It's a series. Some recapping is needed. Every Parker book has a re-cap chapter.This is my favorite of Chang's initial trilogy. Looking forward to reading #4.

  • JoLynn
    2018-12-02 12:18

    I won this book through the Goodreads First Reads ProgramIn the fine tradition of Chester Himes and his Harlem novels, The Year of the Dog is an excellent hard-boiled slice of life from Henry Chang. A rollercoaster ride filled with varying characters and incidents from the underworld of New York's Chinatown and nearby neighborhoods, this well-written crime novel held my attention throughout. Each character came vividly to life for me. This book should appeal to fans of both Himes and pulp fiction.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-12-12 09:22

    This is a series I've otherwise raved about but this book is just filler between books one and three. There's no story arc and no resolution of any kind. Even the substory of Bo feels incomplete. I've really enjoyed the other two books but this one is unnecessary. Everything that happens is retold in book three (Red Jade); in fact entire passages seem to have been lifted from this book and put in Red Jade without change. The only other time I'd seen that was with Laurell K Hamilton whom I no longer read because she's lost her storytelling ability so completely.

  • Mike
    2018-11-19 05:25

    As mentioned in an earlier review,I too would have preferred knowing at the outset the year of the story. The story proceeded in several parts and intersected at the end. There was a lot of reacting, surmising, reflection, and observing. The story telling was uncoventional, or at least unexpected, and I liked it. One nit. The detective carried a revolver and I think it was common practice at the time to carry automatics (I know, Lenny on "Law and Order" carried a snub-nosed .38.).

  • Catherine Woodman
    2018-11-21 11:21

    Much like his first book, I found this a bit confusing and lots of people die--I am not into it, which I thought might have been secondary to reading a book too slowly over several days when tired--but this time that was not the case and I had the same problem--very dissapointing since this publisher, Soho Crime, has been ultra reliable as good mystery material. This may be the exception that proves the rule...

  • Janice
    2018-12-01 08:13

    A fascinating portrait of one side of Chinatown. This book was an interesting read but not really my cup of tea. Chang doesn't devote enough time/pages to his main character, in my opinion; there's too much jumping around from character to character. "Year of the Dog" is also quite violent, although the most hard-to-take descriptions are of the aftermath of violence rather than the acts themselves.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-21 10:19

    Interesting. I like reading crime fiction that also teaches me about particular places, times, and cultures. This book illuminates the underground world of Chinatown gambling, smuggling, protection, etc. There's a disturbing section involving black poverty that feels jarring and racist -- can't figure out if that's meant to be the perspective of the narrator, or if it's the writer's own biases coming out.

  • Monty
    2018-12-11 08:08

    This book picks up soon after the first book in the series ended. This one continues with many of the same characters plus new ones. I like how the author weaves information about Chinese culture into this more action-oriented story. I got into this book more than the first one and plan to read Red Jade, the third and most recent in the series.

  • Vincent
    2018-12-09 05:08

    It follows the same "vignette style" (is that the proper way to describe it?) as the first book but there seems to be much less Detective Jack. More time is spent with Sai Go and other characters. These characters were engaging and their storylines interesting but I still wish there was more Jack Yu. He's the one I want to read about.

  • Ronnie Justice
    2018-12-19 07:21

    Really this could be several novella. Chinese immigration and immigrants are both the theme and main characters of this crime novel. There isn't a plot as much as an unfolding of several lives in New York's Chinatown. Usually something like this would drive me nuts, but Chang keeps things interesting by developing the characters and highlighting cultural aspects of Chinese life in America.

  • KyBunnies
    2018-12-11 09:32

    This book was a first read contest win.Okay I am wondering if I read the first book if it would help me to understand this book. To me this book was hard to follow and understand everything. it did not seem like the characters were fully developed. I was not impressed enough with this book to be interested in reading anything else by this author.

  • Krazyangel
    2018-12-12 04:19

    I also got this book of the giveaways too. Cant say it was my favor but cant complain either cause I was lucky enough to win it and plus it is sign too. Hope others will enjoy it better than I did. Makesure you read the Chinatown book first or whatever it is called.

  • Ted Graham
    2018-11-19 07:35

    I remembered liking the first in the series, so I thought I'd pick this one up for a quick read. Unfortunately, the plot never really developed and the story seemed very disjointed. Also, without depth of character development I never really started to care about the outcome.

  • Mak
    2018-12-07 09:15

    I recieved this book signed by the author from the Goodreads First Reads program!! It looks interesting but I want to wait and read his first book Chinatown Beat before Year of the Dog. Thanks Goodreads and Henry Chang!!

  • Ed
    2018-11-25 11:21

    Wow, this was really bad. So many cliches. I read a glowing review of this in Slate and I don't get it. Scattered action and characters.

  • Martina
    2018-12-10 06:19

    #2 in the Chinatown Beat series.

  • Tracy
    2018-12-01 10:10

    A fast read with a staccato rhythm. Colorful without superfluous language. I will continue reading this series.

  • Monica
    2018-12-09 05:14

    I enjoyed this story. Though short, I got a good feel for the main characters.

  • Elise Warner
    2018-12-17 11:19

    Kept me going. Well written. I will read more of Henry Chang.

  • Jennifer
    2018-11-25 07:25

    Gritty cop noir set in Chinatown. 2nd in the series.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-03 05:34

    It was a quick read. Enjoyable, but I would have liked to know the book took place in 1994 sometime before the last 30 pages.

  • Rachel Risinger
    2018-11-30 05:31

    Heard about this author on National Public Radio and thought it might be interesting, and then found it at Hamilton for next to nothing. Serendipity!!!! Hopefully I will get to read it this summer.