I enjoyed this book immensely and indeed it is one of those that grabbed my attention straight away.
This is a story of online harassment, misunderstanding, gossip and revenge. It is set in Hong Kong and the story starts when Nga-Yee’s sister commits suicide by jumping from the window of their flat in Wun Wah House.
Nga Yee has looked after her sister Siu-Man since the death of their parents and has sacrificed her own youth and chance to study at university to make sure Siu-Man is able to study at Enoch secondary school without having to worry like she herself did.
The police rule that this is a simple case of suicide but Nga Yee is aware that her sister has recently been terribly bullied online and falsely accused of some awful things. Siu-Man was sexually assaulted on the MTR train and a post appeared on a gossip chat-board saying that she had made the whole thing up. Not only is the man accused innocent and has been unfairly imprisoned but there is some other hurtful gossip about the poor girl too.
Nga Yee wants revenge on whoever posted the gossip as she feels that they have just about murdered her sister and she first goes to a private detective to try to trace her sisters online accuser. As he cannot help her with finding the identity of the poster kidkit727 Mr Mok refers Nga Yee to to the enigmatic N.
There are plenty of twists in this story and in fact by the end of the book it is quite difficult to know who is actually guilty of pushing Siu-Man to take her own life because the story is not as straightforward as it first seems. N is a very interesting character because he is a keen observer of human nature as well as an expert at both tech and surveillance. But he is not adverse to using old fashioned methods such as wearing a disguise as well as using much more up to date ways to find the culprits in this story.
Hong Kong is the perfect setting for this story but it is a cautionary tale that could happen anywhere and it reminds us that we are never safe online and there is nothing cannot be traced.
***Also reviewed on Amazon & Waterstones
Second Sister by Chan Ho-Kei
9781788547116 Head of Zeus Hardback February 2020