Jimmy Lyons of Charlestown’s tough Irish neighborhood swore he’d never get involved in gangster life. He wouldn’t be like his father, who was murdered on a run-down industrial road near a polluted shipping channel called the Oilies when Jimmy was only a kid.
But when Chinatown restaurant owner Zhang Wei offers him two grand just to put him in touch with the local gangster who stole some old movies of questionable origin and even more questionable content, he takes the deal. For Lyons, a wanna-be filmmaker, the money means film school tuition. And, too, he figures getting in good with Zhang will help him win the attentions of Eu-meh, the old man’s art student granddaughter.
But very quickly Lyons is deep into a deadly cat-and-mouse game as a one-time Chinatown Tong boss, a Charlestown gangster and a notorious South Boston mobster vie for the movies that he now suspects to be big-star porn, the stuff of blackmail. And if that’s not bad enough, he’s being stalked by the man who killed his father.