Foresight by Ian Hamilton (Uncle Chow Tung #2)
English | 2020| Mystery/Thriller | ePUB | 4.7 MB
Ian Hamilton is a Canadian mystery writer. A former journalist and civil servant, his work has appeared in Maclean’s, Boston, the Leader-Post, the Calgary Albertan, and the Calgary Herald. Hamilton is the author of the Ava Lee crime / mystery series
1980: A pivotal year in modern Chinese history as Premier Deng Xiaoping begins what he intends to be the transformation of China into an economic superpower. The most visible evidence of Deng’s policy is the creation of Special Economic Zones, and one has been set up in Shenzhen, next door to Hong Kong and on Fanling’s doorstep. Among Triad leaders, Uncle is the only one who recognizes that Deng’s intentions could have profound repercussions on their organizations. To protect his gang and their interests, he acts to not only minimize the danger, but to turn events to his advantage.
utes after Xu left the restaurant, trying to gather himself. He had been rattled by what Xu told him. He had assumed he had the loyalty of all his men, but money was the strongest of lures, and he couldn’t discount the idea that some of them might be drawn to it. He hoped otherwise, but he wasn’t naive, and he was already certain that cutting the monthly allotment had triggered doubts about the ongoing strength and future of the gang.
Gang members working part-time for other gangs, or even switching allegiance, wasn’t common, but it also wasn’t unknown. Uncle knew of at least two other Hong Kong–based gangs that had bled members when their financial structure weakened.
Ten years before, when Uncle became Mountain Master, the betting shops had provided enough money to support everyone. With that no longer the case, and with no hope of turning that situation around because of the Jockey Club’s aggressive expansion, he needed the other businesses to increase their contributions. But they could achieve only so much growth, since they were limited by Fanling’s size, his own refusal to get into loan-sharking, protection rackets, and drug dealing, and the fact that every bit of land that abutted Fanling was controlled by a rival gang.
Uncle hadn’t been inactive, though. He had invested gang money in additional massage parlours and a secondary night market, but all that had done was cannibalize their existing businesses. He needed an additional income stream that would bring new money to the table, and right now he didn’t have a single viable option.
The Fanling gang had about 160 members, and when Chow factored in their families and the families of past members they were morally obligated to support, close to six hundred people depended on the income generated by the gang. He had hesitated before cutting the amount each gang member received but had decided it would buy him some time to address the larger problem. If what Xu had been told was correct, he hadn’t bought much of that.
One immediate option was to restore the allotment to its previous level. That might stop defections or prevent gang members from freelancing, but it would slowly and surely drain the reserve fund he had spent years accumulating, leaving them with nothing to invest if the right opportunity presented itself. With the executive committee’s approval, he had been dipping into the fund for more than a year already. He figured that, with no change in current revenues, it might last another two years.