For 14K Triad official Steven Wong, faking his own death to escape trial was easy. But evading investigative reporter Terry Gould -- impossible.
For 11 years terry Gould has tracked the man known as the “paper fan” through the organized crime circles of six countries. This riveting, horrifying, yet often hilariously funny book is the story of that search, a daredevil journey through the seductions and terrors of Steve’s world.
Steven Wong is the “paper fan,” a thirty-nine-year-old Hong Kong-born mobster. Raised in New York’s Chinatown, he matured into crime in Vancouver, where he founded and headed the murderous Gum Wah Gang in the late 1980s and early ’90s. In 1992, Wong “died” in a traffic accident in a remote area of the Philippines before he could be sent to jail for heroin trafficking, conveniently just after he’d taken out a million-dollar life insurance policy. His urn may still be interred in a Vancouver cemetery, but today, Interpol has a “Red Alert” arrest warrant out for Wong, and his updated file reads like a Hollywood action film -- a post-mortem panorama of organized criminal adventure that circles the Pacific Rim, from Macau to Japan, from Cambodia to the Philippines.
Gould’s search takes him into a world in which politicians, police, businessmen and criminals sprint along in one big pack, sometimes nipping each other’s heels, sometimes licking each other’s faces, and sometimes inviting one another back home for all-night mah-jong parties. Forced to work according to right-side-up rules, honest cops haven’t had a chance of arresting Steve in his upside-down world. Four times, Terry Gould has traced Steven Wong through Asia’s circles of corruption and pinned him down, but the law has let him slip away. Fifth time lucky?
“Gangsters are good team players who generally exhibit a locker-room familiarity with other men. Still, it surprised me when Steve answered the door on Monday wearing only his polka-dot boxers, showing off his biceps and his chest tattooed with the winged dragons and sharp-taloned eagle. He was talking on the phone and barely interrupted himself as he turned back into the house, whereupon I realized that the display was likely done on purpose. Neck to waist his back was totally covered by a stylized tableau of a dragon crawling against a background of tigers and flowers — a Triad montage no one outside his syndicate world was supposed to see.” -- from Paper Fan
From the Hardcover edition.