The Disappearance of Patrick Zhou
- About the Author
Finalist for the 2023 Epigram Books Fiction Prize
A young woman must solve the fifteen-year-old disappearance of her uncle.
The Zhou-Guthrie company is a powerful one, with a palm oil fortune built on the suffering of others. One night, Patrick Zhou, the charismatic heir to the business, disappears en route to a conference, never to be seen again.
Fifteen years later, Zhou-Guthrie is a failing dynasty. The matriarch, Doris Zhou, is on her deathbed. In her last lucid moments, Doris tasks her granddaughter, Layla, with finding out what happened to Patrick. To solve this mystery, Layla must uncover corporate espionage, environmental crimes and family secrets—perhaps intimately connected to the ghost stories Uncle Patrick told her years ago.
“A narrative tapestry woven with incredible finesse, which enraptures readers in a web of secrets and thrills. In this evocative setting where power and morality collide, Layla’s determined pursuit of her family’s enigmatic past kept me entranced from start to end. The rich layers of this enthralling multi-generational odyssey serve up a resonance that lingers long after I’ve savoured the last word.”
—Kyla Zhao, author of The Fraud Squad
“A smart, ambitious debut by an exciting new voice, and a well-crafted page-turner that I found hard to put down. The Disappearance of Patrick Zhou tackles questions like: What happens when the dirty secrets of a family business come to light? Can the rebellious heir to a dynasty ever outrun her family’s brutal past? Think Succession, but with more humidity and violence, and set among Malaysian oil palm plantations. Ally Chua has deftly interlaced family drama, corporate corruption, a whiff of murder and one plucky journalist trying to unravel it all into a stunning whodunnit that will have you guessing till the very end.”
—Stephanie Chan, author of Roadkill for Beginners
“Ally Chua gives vicious corporate dynasty a gothic turn in a Johor estate lurking with buried secrets, where too-real monsters emerge from the unearthed rot to drag generations of a family into a reckoning with both their bloody legacy and each other. A haunting in which the worst ghosts are ourselves.”
—Wen-yi Lee, author of The Dark We Know
Ally Chua was the 2019 Singapore Unbound Fellow for New York City, and a member of writing collective /s@ber. She has been published in QLRS, Cordite Poetry Review, Lammergeier Magazine and Thimble Magazine. Her poetry collection, Acts of Self Consumption, will be published by Recent Work Press in Spring 2023. The Disappearance of Patrick Zhou is her first novel.
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 256
Year Published: 2023
Size: 225mm x 152mm