The work was riskier here. In fact, it was illegal. But he knew the turf. He’d identified himself as a Chinese police officer on his tourist visa, and the Americans hadn’t given him any trouble. Sometimes, it was best to hide in plain sight. Hu’s driver took an exit into a wooded subdivision, cruising by big homes set back from the two-lane road that wound through one of the country’s wealthiest enclaves. The driver was a new recruit, a Chinese immigrant in his late 20s who lived in Queens and called himself Johnny.
Johnny’s uncle in Houston had been a target of Hu’s covert team. Two months earlier, they had “persuaded” the uncle, a former chief accountant for a provincial aviation agency, to return to China to stand trial for alleged crimes. Hu had essentially offered a brutal deal to Johnny and his relatives: If you want to help your family, help us destroy someone else’s.