Thursday, October 11, 2007


Coming in November from Bleak House Books: Runoff by Mark Coggins.

About the book, from the publisher:

When her hand-picked mayoral candidate fails even to carry the predominantly Chinese precincts, Leonora Lee — the all-powerful “Dragon Lady” of San Francisco’s Chinatown — hires private eye August Riordan to investigate the possibility that someone has rigged the election by hacking the city’s newly installed touch-screen voting machines. As the days to the runoff election between the two remaining candidates click down, it becomes clear there are many groups with wildly different agendas that had a motive.

An anarchist organization called Feral Collective and a radical, anti-gentrification group called Cuidad Verde (Green City) want the progressive Green party candidate to win because of his promise to increase affordable housing. Wo Hop To, a powerful gang in Chinatown with connections to a Hong Kong triad, want to sabotage the chances of the Dragon Lady’s candidate. “Downtown interests” with links to big business and real estate development want the relatively conservative Democratic candidate to maintain the business and development-friendly policies of the current administration.

Did these factions act separately or work together? Did they suborn employees of the Election Department or the company that produced the electronic voting machines? These are the questions Riordan must answer, all while dealing with an entanglement with the Dragon Lady’s beautiful daughter, Lisa, who is the reigning Miss Chinatown.