2016 Asia Weekly Top Ten Chinese Novel of the Year
2017 Taipei Book Fair Award
Luk Pa-Choi runs to Hong Kong to escape poverty, brutality, and sexual abuse, having no idea that a future just as treacherous awaits him there. The young man begins by pulling a rickshaw and working as a bouncer in brothels, but fate pulls him deeper into the world of the Chinese criminal underground, and he begins to establish himself as a gangster. Yet he has a lover of no small significance – Morris Davidson, an officer in the British police force in Hong Kong. The two feed each other information, and provide each other comfort.
Yet when the Japanese army takes over Hong Kong, and British officers are thrown in jail, Luk Pa-Choi must learn to deal with this new enemy. As his situation becomes more dangerous, Luk faces betrayal and the bitter price of love as he tries his best to rescue Davidson.
Set in the tumultuous period of WWII and Japanese occupation, Once Upon a Time in Hong Kong tells the story of a young Chinese gangster’s dramatic rise in Hong Kong’s underworld and his forbidden love affair with a British police officer. Meticulously researched and artfully told, it is at once a crime epic, a heart-wrenching love story, and a sex-charged spy thriller.