Grace Wu waits in shadow, in a black curve that cuts away from tunnels made by the headlights of squad cars, which have been parked to create a halo effect. She regards the scene with detachment, a way she has of freeing herself from the tag ends and codes of her kind, and still be a part of what’s going down.
Grace Wu has been undercover in the San Francisco Bay Area drug trade for nearly two years. Posing as a cabbie and buying and selling drugs daily, the twenty- eight year-old Chinese-American woman reports only to two men: John Zito, her superior in the SFPD, and Elgin Lightfoot of the DEA. After two years of the same routine, Grace is poised to go after Kyungmoon Nho, the local connection for one of the largest heroin smuggling rings in the Pacific Rim. Supported from one side and undermined by the other, Grace is virtually alone in this complex operation, where the outcome is at the mercy of each participant’s dreams and fears: Grace’s relationship with her heroin addicted brother; John Zito’s obsession with vodka; Kyungmoon Nho’s ambitions for advancement within his organization.
Schedule Two may superficially resemble a traditional police procedural story, but reader’s will be rewarded with rich character portraits, an intricate plot and nail-biting suspense.
"Gaylord Dold is one of those restless writers who keep the genre from going stale. Merciless studies of human nature in the raw."
Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"To me it seems in a league with Dog Soldiers…What makes Schedule Two a terrific novel is Gaylord Dold’s singular prose and lacerating insights. He draws characters of a variety of backgrounds and draws them beautifully, with depth and grace, and it is beguiling to watch them spin, caught as they are in the pitiless web of the tale he tells. Simply masterful."
Daniel Woodrell, author of Give us a Kiss and Winter’s Bone
"The seamless splicing and fast-moving plot with some very limber prose result in another memorable crime work."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"An intricate plot full of double crosses, counterfeit money, and a slam-bang conclusion…one of the best crime novels of the year."
Booklist (starred review)
"Luminous characters and prose of spare and near-hallucinatory grace make Schedule Two the best mystery of 1996."
The Portland Oregonian
The seamless splicing of a fast-moving plot with some very limber prose results in another memorable crime work from the author of Bay of Sorrows. From selling drugs undercover, San Francisco cop Grace Wu is moved away from the streets to the big time and a series of encounters with Korean criminal Kyungmoon Nho, who has just executed two rivals and dumped the bodies. Grace's bent cop boss, John Zito, is sinking fast in a sea of cocaine and vodka and stupidly blows Grace's cover to a low-level dealer, whom he then shakes down. Grace's likable DEA boss, Elgin Lightfoot, is a better sort, but he can't save Grace from being raped and beaten by Nho and his cohorts. When Grace decides on an unorthodox mode of retaliation, Elgin lends a reluctant hand, and a whole bunch of deaths and carnage rapidly ensues. Dold deftly places his characters in a swirling vortex of betrayal. If he gives his protagonists very little idea of what is happening, he does give his readers exquisitely detailed personal histories, which are more often than not very brutal, and which, more often than not, end in trivial death. Bay of Sorrows was much more stylish than a crime yarn actually needs to be, and Schedule Two continues this very admirable tradition.