Private investigator Lydia Chin has lived in New York City's Chinatown all her life. But even to those born and raised in this city-within-a-city, where the power structure is often based on perceptions and shifting alliances, the complex interactions of Chinatown can be elusive. The Chinese Restaurant Workers' Union - a new, unaligned, and untried union - is making waves in Chinatown by trying to organized the restaurant workers, challenge the powerful restaurant owners, and shift the balance of power. When four restaurant workers, one of them a union organizer, disappear with no known reason and without a trace, the union's lawyer reluctantly hires Lydia Chin to find the missing men. With her sometimes-partner Bill Smith, Lydia soon discovers that she is not the only one looking for them. Approached by all sides and alternately pressured to drop the case and to solve it quickly, Lydia finds herself in the middle of a mysterious conflict between two powerful Chinatown rivals, the New York City police, a struggling union, and a shadowy pair of federal agents. And four missing men, possessing a deadly secret, whose very lives hang in the balance.
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