RaveThe South China Morning Post (CHI)Nieh’s Beijing will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has spent a night out in the Chinese capital in the past 15 years ... Nieh opts for real violence rather than wuxia trickery; hard-core Beijing beatings. Beijing Payback itself morphs from murder mystery into revenge tragedy, and they’ve been a good read for centuries ... Nieh’s writing holds up as beat perfect. This is no formulaically concocted and knocked-out thriller, but a crafted piece of genre writing. What Nieh also never forgets is to maintain the plausibility of Victor’s slip from privileged San Gabriel Valley Boy to beating down Beijing gangsters. Extraordinary circumstances in extraordinary places bring out the extraordinary in people.
PositiveFinancial Times\"Zia might have contextualised these individual success stories more by looking at how influential this sub-diaspora would become ... Zia uses archival sources and newspapers well to round out her subjects’ oral histories ... Last Boat Out of Shanghai ultimately shows that in many cases old ties survived the long decades of Maoist isolation.\