29 Oct / Beijing Payback by Daniel Nieh [in Booklist]
With a mere handful of solo credits, Ewan Chung is a relative newbie to audiobooks, but his remarkable versatility proves the ideal fit to showcase Daniel Nieh’s outstanding thriller. The DC-born Chung is a talented polyglot, fluent in Mandarin (he translated the DVD audio commentary for House of Flying Daggers) and French (he was an uncredited French dialogue coach in the 2002 film The Idol). Chung displays his facility in regional English, Mandarin, French, and even Spanish in Nieh’s internationally peripatetic mystery about an immigrant LA restaurateur, Vincent Li, whose murder reveals a double life on opposite sides of the world.
Called to the lawyer’s office post-mortem, Vincent’s two children, Jules and Victor, are shocked to discover the status of their father’s finances. When a mysterious Chinese man named Sun claims intimate ties to Vincent that unmistakably link Vincent to Beijing’s underworld, Victor skips out on college and rashly heads to China in search of answers. Guided by Sun, Victor discovers a complicated web of lifetime associations, vengeful betrayals – and a rising body count. Violence follows him back Stateside, and he’s got little time left to get himself safe. With admirable control, Chung turns Nieh’s didn’t-see-that-coming debut into a bone-shaking wild ride.