Lauren Hilgers is a journalist and the author of Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown.

“You just need to spend a lot of time with people. And it’s awkward. I read something when I was first starting out as a journalist in China, ‘Make a discipline out of being uncomfortable.’ I think that’s very helpful. You’re going to feel uncomfortable a lot of the time, and just decide to be okay with it and just keep going with it.”

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The Mystery of the Killer Vacation

He’d sold his company, chartered a yacht, and set off with his model girlfriend to see the world. Finally, it seemed, Chris Smith was living the life he’d always wanted. But back home there was trouble: missing money, unraveling secrets, and a sudden question. Where the hell was Chris Smith, really?