When the notorious God of Wealth is challenged by an idealistic intern, he uses his caseload to demonstrate the depths of human greed. Myth and legend intersect with gritty urban realities as the novel revives the age-old question: when is a windfall in fact a curse, rather than a blessing?
As the God of Wealth, Fang Shih Yeh firmly believes that humans are greedy by nature, and that money is, in fact, the solution to all of the world’s problems. That’s why nothing irritates him more than mortals who insist “money isn’t everything”, or “there are some things money can’t buy”. Though the God of Wealth appears compassionate, always answering the sincere petitions of his followers, their unearned windfalls often come at a painful price.
Fang Shi Yeh’s new intern, however, see things differently. Inexperienced and idealistic, she hopes to use her supernatural powers to benefit mankind. Their first case together involves a pair of friends operating on the fringes of the criminal underworld. Ou-Yang is a devout believer, while Gong-Ki is disinclined to religion, but both desperately need money, and fast! When the friends petition the God of Wealth, master and student are presented the opportunity to settle a debate over what humans value more: money or friendship.
Ou-Yang and Gong-Ki’s prayers are answered when a debt collection job yields a large sum, but Ou-Yang, who has debts of his own to pay, isn’t satisfied. Hoping to speed his returns, he takes a job as a security guard at an underground casino. There, he impresses a mob boss who recommends him for a job at a scam investment company. In his pursuit of ever larger payouts, Ou-Yang finds himself ever more deeply entangled in the dark dealings of the criminal underworld.
With its twisting plot, Bad Money carries readers beyond the surface appearance of a cruel and indifferent world, to a place where the lines that separate good and evil, kindness and greed, begin to blur. Ultimately, this surprising work of fantasy reminds us that the darkness of human nature is shot through with glimmers of light, and even scheming self-interest can never be fully separated from our capacity for caring and connection.