His name is Liu Chiang-hsin: "a mind as sharp as a sword." But "Chinaman" is the name his friends and contacts use. Chinaman grew up in Beijing during the Mao era and was traumatized by seeing Red Guards beat his scholar-father and drag him off; never to return. Three decades later, the one woman who managed to penetrate his emotional defenses has been found murdered in the New York Palace Hotel. And Chinaman wont rest until he finds the killer.Chinaman is a 35-year-old private detective living in New York Citys East Village. He is unlucky enough to have, as an ex-father-in-law, Manhattans Chief of Detectives. Worse yet, Chinaman finds himself in the position of trying to enlist his ex-wifes help in solving the murder of the woman she found in bed with him -- just before their marriage ended.By using his computer, his fists, his wits, his contacts and his knowledge of the streets, Chinaman tracks down the murderers. The denouement takes place in Brooklyns bleak Red Hook area at night among the loading cranes, transit sheds, canine-guarded warehouses and chain-linked fences topped with barbed wire. And, if Chinaman can prevent the memories of his Beijing boyhood from overwhelming him, he might just have a Chinamans chance of coming out alive.