The Dead Chip Syndicate - Book Review

GoodReads Rating:

Book Review of :  The Dead Chip Syndicate


The Dead Chip Syndicate, by Andrew W. Pearson, is a contemporary thriller based on the Chinese "willingness to give up food and water before they give up gambling." Set in the small country of Macau, an administrative region of China and the world's gambling capital, the novel uses the Chinese gambling mecca as the background for a suspense-filled story of greed, illegal money laundering, and junket operations.  

Pearson's extensive knowledge and personal experiences in Southeast Asia are apparent in his writing. With a deep understanding of the region's geography and culture, he skillfully portrays Macau as a mesmerizing but perilous destination. The characters he introduces are vibrant, audacious, and unapologetic, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the narrative. 

            The protagonist, forty-seven-year-old Anthony Wilson, has left his unsuccessful novelist and screenwriter career to join his twin brother's business ventures in China. The novel engages the reader from the opening pages as Anthony worries about his plane crashing on landing in the Philippines. On arrival, he is informed that his life has been threatened and that his brother is missing with millions in gold.  

            Anthony's life flashes back eight months to when he agreed to host an ICO (an event to raise capital) for brother Cyrus's Exegesis Asian company for casino owners. The novel uses many acronyms familiar to readers interested in finance. Reaching Macau, Anthony enters the world of junket gambling, where extravagant incentives are offered to high-rollers and VIPs to gamble exclusively in specific casinos. Anthony meets Cash Chenge, an extravagant, wealthy Chinese casino owner who contracts Anthony to write his biography.  

            The plot includes references to dead chip programs, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Onecoin, and other cryptocurrency terminology that may not be familiar to the reader but are eye-opening in today's world of Ponzi schemes, graft, and get-rich-quick ruses. Bizarre, mysterious Chinese customs, government policies, and the law are interwoven into this tale of intrigue. 

                 Anthony suspects his "evil" twin of planning his murder. However, when Cyrus and his wife, who are on board a sailing craft loaded with currency and gold, go missing, Anthony is willing to risk his life to investigate and rescue them and the money. The plot thickens. The year 2019 is challenged by the Covid-19 epidemic. The police are hunting Chase, Cyrus, and his wife are deathly ill with the virus, and Anthony is suspected of the murder of a beautiful young woman. 

Anthony's prior experience as a screenwriter allows him to be observant and to tell his story with relatable visuals. The novel will engage readers who are fascinated with wealth and power, and illegal gains.  

The novel offers valuable insights for readers intrigued by the captivating world of Crypto and Artificial Intelligence. With its educational approach, it serves as an informative and enlightening read. 

The conclusion is unexpected but satisfying as it pulls together the story's diverse narratives. A Chinese saying, "Money won is twice as sweet as money earned," is a reoccurring theme that sums up the complex plot. 


Reviewed by: carole

About Andrew Pearson


Andrew Pearson runs a software consulting business in Macau, China. He is a screenwriter, novelist, and noted columnist for several peer-reviewed journals. He has written several books and articles on topics like analytics, AI, marketing, Chinese tech, and social media. An avid traveler, Pearson is a sought-after speaker, lecturing on such disparate topics as AI and machine learning, digital marketing, and social media. If he's not gracing the conference stage in some exotic locale, he's probably pounding the pavements of Hollywood trying to get a script made or meandering through the labyrinthine streets of Hong Kong's Lang Kwai Fong, or tearing up useless betting slips at Happy Valley (perhaps the most perfectly named racecourse in the world (for some)), or dining at a hawker center in Singapore, or grabbing some lechon at a bustling outdoor food market in Manila, or doubling down at the gaming tables in Macau. Basically, Pearson's trying to find the next great story that the world doesn't yet know that it desperately wants to see...

Visit for more information on Andrew Pearson


No comments submitted.
Be the first to comment on this book.

Book Review Request

Instant Grammar Checker is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an affiliate, this website earns from qualifying purchases.

Book Reviews of Featured Books

Stopping the Rise of Sea Level
Best Friends Christmas
Grays of Novart
June 17, 1967 - Battle of Xom Bo II