About the Book:
The Quartz is the first in a new series called The Inspector Kwong Mysteries, based on characters from Warren’s novel, Hong Kong Blues.
The Quartz is not a whodunnit. It tracks the action in Hong Kong and Beijing of both Chief Inspector Lawrence Kwong and the villain, Vice Premier Xiao Mingyu, the fourth most powerful man in the People’s Republic of China. Twists and turns along the way bring them face to face with each other. The McGuffin of the piece, the Qin Quartz, is a treasure from the tomb of Emperor Qin, the first Emperor of China.
Read an Excerpt:
Slow, to Matson, was not like slogging through a marsh. Rather it reminded Kwong of racing the shine on the harbor at sunset. He hurried along and saw Matson pause two blocks ahead of him.
When he reached him, Matson asked, “There are more than two hundred rentals in this building. Which one is she in?”
“There is only one unit at this address that I know Two Feathers uses. Shall we try that?”
Fortunately for Kwong, the Two Feathers Triad rental was on the third floor rather than the eighth. They climbed the interior stairway and walked quietly down the hallway, listening to the cries of infants and the chatter of multiple TVs.
Matson recognized the powerful smells of kimchee, sesame and bacon fat that he had lived with in times past.
Kwong stopped and looked at a piece of paper he had pulled from the pocket of his vest, then pointed at the door one unit ahead of them on the right.
“There should only be two of them guarding her,” he whispered to Matson. “We have the element of surprise. Draw your gun, but use it only if necessary, and aim for their knees.”
He put his hand delicately on the knob and turned it. It was unlocked, and he threw it open. A tall, slender man with long hair stood with his back to them not ten feet away. The other, stockier with a pockmarked face, was sitting on a couch with a cocker spaniel lying in his lap. Kwong swung his cane and swept the closer man’s legs out from under him. Matson stepped forward holding the gun, and the second man frowned and put his hands up, kicking the dog to the floor. It wagged its tail and crossed to Kwong for a treat.
They cuffed them both and called out to Charlotte. Kwong heard the muffled sound of someone speaking through a gag and opened the door to a tiny bedroom. Charlotte lay on a cot, her wrists bound and her mouth gagged with a cloth. He untied it, and she began to cry with relief.
“Your timing was perfect, young lady,” he said, untying her wrists. “We were just down the street sightseeing.”