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Hong Kong Noir

Edited by: and

Fourteen of the city’s finest authors explore the dark heart of the Pearl of the Orient in haunting stories of depravity and despair.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

Hong Kong Noir digs below the financial centre’s gleaming surface to unearth stories of the city’s ghosts and spirits . . . The stories touch on major points in Hong Kong modern history: the horrors of Japanese occupation, post-war poverty, the economic boom under the British, the city’s return to Chinese sovereignty, and the tensions of the 2014 ‘umbrella movement’ occupation of key thoroughfares by pro-democracy activists. What better way to tie together the present and the past – the living and the dead – than through ghost stories?”
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong Noir is a heart-stopping but spellbinding account of the glamorous city’s repressed side.”
Hong Kong Review of Books

“The history of Hong Kong, once a fishing village, encompasses piracy, the opium trade, prostitution, corruption, espionage and revolutionary plots; grist for the 14 dark tales in Hong Kong Noir.”
BBC Culture, Included in 10 Books to Read in December 2018

“Like all good love songs, the stories in Hong Kong Noir are dark . . . Everyone in Hong Kong Noir is on the move. Some come looking for money or romance or home. They may be mainlanders or Hong Kong born, refugees or tourists, high-flying bankers or American soldiers out for a little R&R. Hong Kongers every one of them.”
Bookish Asia

“From locals to expats, freelance writers, and university professors, the writing has enough breadth of experience to put together an entertaining, engaging, and informative collection. One doesn’t need to visit Hong Kong to enjoy this book, but to read while traveling through the city will add a lot to the experience. Add it to your backpack.”
Medium Books

Hong Kong Noir is a panorama of the city in its multiplicity of forms, from lush mountains in country parks, to the concrete jungles of shops and tenements, to the upscale luxury apartments in secluded coves . . . Ultimately, it is the memories of Hong Kong’s human and otherworldly terrain, as portrayed by these varied narratives, that proves so beautifully haunting.”
Cha Journal

“Crime fiction has to work hard to compete in a city where dismembered bodies make conspicuous appearances in news headlines . . . The result is natives and expats mingle with returning Cantonese and displaced mainlanders, each (often correctly) suspicious of the others’ motives . . . As far as the city itself is concerned, this collection represents Hong Kong to its very core.”
Asian Review of Books

“Now in the 14th year of its Noir series — which has collected original stories from Brooklyn to Istanbul to Lagos — Akashic has assembled a delightfully dark collection of fiction from Hong Kong, a city where talk is cheap and cash is still king.”
Ritz-Carlton Magazine, Page Turner pick for Winter 2018 and Recommended by Albert Wan of Bleak House Books

“Ng and Blumberg-Kason defy the fates by presenting a collection of 14 stories—by Chinese tradition, an ominous number—illustrating their city’s dark side . . . Ng and Blumberg-Kason’s Hong Kong is a city on the brink, haunted by its past but facing an uncertain future. Readers can feel lucky to have such a collection.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will get a fair picture of Hong Kong’s culture and history.”
Publishers Weekly

Featured Title on The Open Bookshelf

Marshall Moore’s “The Quintessence of Dust” has been featured on Little Big Crimes – The Best Mystery Story of the Week!

“Hong Kong is a city of breathtaking highs and earth-shattering lows, luxury and poverty, excess and want, and this new collection of 14 tales from Hong Kong’s best crime writers showcases the extremes of one of the world’s capitals. From ghost stories, to historical thrills, to underworld brutality, Hong Kong Noir, like the city it captures, is as endlessly fascinating as it is impossible to define.”
CrimeReads, Included in Most Anticipated Crime Books of 2018

“This is a terrific short story collection from Akashic Books’ ongoing series. These fourteen stories will warm your noir-loving heart and give you a glimpse into one of the world’s greatest cities.”
Writer’s Bone

Hong Kong Noir offers 14 tales, set in the past and present, that are deeply dark—noir at its most seductive and riveting. The writers you’ll discover inside will not be familiar, but they’ll mark you like a tattoo.”
Zoom Street

“If you like mysteries and short stories and are curious about the world, Akashic Noir is a delight and you will enjoy Hong Kong Noir.”
Tonstant Weader Reviews


Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. In Hong Kong Noir, fourteen of the city’s finest authors explore the dark heart of the Pearl of the Orient in haunting stories of depravity and despair.

Brand-new stories by: Jason Y. Ng, Xu Xi, Marshall Moore, Brittani Sonnenberg, Tiffany Hawk, James Tam, Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang, Christina Liang, Feng Chi-shun, Charles Philipp Martin, Shannon Young, Shen Jian, Carmen Suen, and Ysabelle Cheung.

From the introduction by Jason Y. Ng & Susan Blumberg-Kason:

What will Hong Kong look like in five years, ten years, or thirty years—when the “one country, two systems” promise expires? It’s impossible to foresee. Hong Kong’s future may not be within our control, but some things are. We can continue to write about our beloved city and work our hardest to preserve it in words. When we asked our contributors to write their noir stories, we didn’t give them specific content guidelines other than to make sure their stories end on a dark note. What we received was a brilliant collection of ghost stories, murder mysteries, domestic dramas, cops-and-robbers tales, and historical thrillers that capture Hong Kong in all its dark glory. The result is every bit as eclectic, quirky, and delightful as the city they write about.

Table of Contents


Part I: Hungry Ghosts & Troubled Spirits
“Ghost of Yulan Past” by Jason Y. Ng (Tin Hau)
“TST” by Xu Xi (Tsim Sha Tsui)
“This Quintessence of Dust” by Marshall More (Cheung Chau)
“The Kamikaze Caves” by Brittani Sonnenberg (Lamma Island)

Part II: Obedience & Respect
“You Deserve More” by Tiffany Hawk (Lan Kwai Fong)
“Phoenix Moon” by James Tam (Mong Kok)
“One Marriage, Two People” by Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang (Ma On Shan)

Part III: Family Matters
“Ticket Home” by Charles Philipp Martin (Yau Ma Tei)
“A View to Die For” by Christina Liang (Repulse Bay)
“Expensive Tissue Paper” by Feng Chi-shun (Diamond Hill)

Part IV: Death & Thereafter
“Blood on the Steps” by Shannon Young (The Pottinger Steps)
“Kam Tin Red” by Shen Jian (Kam Tin)
“Fourteen” by Carmen Suen (Wah Fu)
“Big Hotel” by Ysabelle Cheung (North Point)

Read Xu Xi’s story, “TST,” at CrimeReads

Read a feature and interview with co-editors Jason Y. Ng and Susan Blumberg-Kason at Zolima City Mag.

Read an interview with co-editor Susan Blumberg-Kason at The Rumpus.

Read a guest post from co-editor Susan Blumberg-Kason at Asian Books Blog.

Contributor Carmen Suen wrote about Hong Kong Noir for the inaugural issue of Vogue HKcheck out her piece here!

Book Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Published: 12/4/18
  • IBSN: 9781617756726
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756924
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617757303


JASON Y. NG is the best-selling author of Hong Kong State of Mind, No City for Slow Men, and Umbrellas in Bloom—the first book in English to chronicle the Umbrella Movement of 2014. His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies. Ng is also an adjunct associate law professor at the University of Hong Kong and president of PEN Hong Kong. He is the coeditor of Hong Kong Noir.

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SUSAN BLUMBERG-KASON is the author of Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong. Her writing has also appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books China Blog and China channel, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Asian Jewish Life, and several Hong Kong anthologies. She received an MPhil in government and public administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Blumberg-Kason lives in Chicago and frequently travels to Hong Kong. She is the coeditor of Hong Kong Noir.

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