Hong Kong, 1970. The Dragon Head (also known as the Mountain Master) of the Fanling Triad has died and there is a struggle to replace him among senior members of the gang. Normally, the Deputy Mountain Master is next in line, but this one is weak and ineffectual and has only survived because of the protection of the Dragon Head. Up to this point, the Fanling Triad has operated in relative isolation from neighbouring gangs, but the Dragon Head’s death has drawn attention to the area — and to its wealth. Other gangs start to make threatening moves and it’s obvious to the senior members of the Fanling Triad that they need a leader who can fend off the threats, unite the membership, and maintain their prosperity. There are several candidates. The least conspicuous is the White Paper Fan, their young administrator. His name is Chow Tung, but many of those who work with him already refer to him as “Uncle”...
Short-listed for The Barry Award for Best Mystery/Thriller
Short-listed for The Arthur Ellis Award for Best Mystery/Thriller
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Book Reviews

Praise for Fate

"Twelve books into his Ava Lee series, Ian Hamilton delves into the backstory of one of the series’ most beloved characters: Lee’s mentor, Chow Tung (known as “Uncle”). We already know and love Uncle for his endless wisdom, but Fate gives us a glimpse into what makes him tick and how he’s achieved such great success. Hamilton’s writing never fails to deliver when it comes to time and place, and he comes through again with Uncle’s story of Communist China and triad gangs. Ava Lee fans are in for a treat—as, really, are all mystery and crime fans."
- Apple Book Reviews
“There is no denying his creative powers . . . Hamilton’s characters are vivid and complex, his plots are intricate and compelling . . . When it comes to pacing, Hamilton is a master. He maintains the tension and suspense that are the hallmarks of a good read.”
- Literary Review of Canada
“Hamilton does a masterly job capturing the sights, smells, and sounds of Hong Kong as he charts Chow’s struggle to survive.”
- Publishers Weekly
“A welcome origin story about the man who helped shape Ava Lee.”
- Booklist
“A magnetic tale of intrigue among rivals and cohorts, the early ascent of ‘Uncle’ Chow Tung within the Hong Kong triads is exhilarating and utterly convincing. This is the first in a spin-off series that you’ll want to keep spinning forever. Jump on at the start!”
- John Farrow, bestselling author of the Émile Cinq-Mars series
“Ian Hamilton’s knowledge of the triads and their operations is fascinating — and slightly unsettling. He unwinds his tale of Uncle’s origins with such detail that readers will wonder how he grew so familiar without being a triad himself. A must-read for fans of the Ava Lee novels!”
- John Lawrence Reynolds, Arthur Ellis Award-winning author of Beach Strip
“[Ian Hamilton is] a lively writer with an attentive eye for the details of complicated suspense.”
- London Free Press