It’s M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable meets modern politics: a strong, young man who lost his memory in a train crash discovers he can read the memories of others through physical contact. Widespread political unrest throws him into a situation he cannot escape except by his own bravery and ingenuity.
The scene is a moment of political revolution, a student takeover of Taiwan’s legislative building nearly identical to the events of the Sunflower Movement. One night, while leaving the sit-in, our protagonist runs into a Filipino woman who is clearly escaping someone; she is half-naked, mutilated, and losing consciousness. The protagonist literally runs to the hospital, and her memories begin to seep into his mind. The police name him as a suspect in her murder, but life grows even more complicated when a friend asks him to help search for his missing sister. As the body count begins to mount, our protagonist decides that he must go after the killer himself.
Wolf Hsu’s newest novel has been hailed by domestic critics as one of the best works of “hard-boiled fiction” to appear to date. Its gritty language and stark descriptions of the macabre are sure to attract any devoted fan of The Watchmen, Sin City, or even Saw. Part of its brilliance, however, also derives from its connection to the moment – as a darkness incubating in a corner while Taiwan is rocked by political upheaval.