The eighth novel in the Ava Lee series finds Ava caught in a labyrinth of high-level political corruption.
Ava is in Shanghai for the launch of the PÖ clothing line. She has invited Xu, and over the course of the glitzy event and a late-night dinner, she detects a certain hesitancy in him. He later confides that the Tsai family, headed by Tsai Lian, the governor of Jiangsu Province and a “princeling” — he is the son of a general who was on the Long March with Mao and a member of China’s power elite — is trying to force him and his triad organization back into the drug business. Xu is already paying millions of dollars a year to various Tsai businesses, but the family wants more and thinks the new venture can deliver it. Xu believes this move would lead to his eventual destruction and feels he has nowhere to turn. If he opposes them, they will crush him. If he goes along with them, he thinks that inevitably the police and military will hunt him down.
Ava sets out to help Xu deter the Tsai family. As she digs into the breadth and depth of the family’s wealth and corruption, she gets caught up in a huge tangled web, extending all the way to the U.S. and the U.K., where it reaches the top echelons of political power.
Hamilton's eighth novel (after 2014's The King of Shanghai) in his series featuring Ava Lee, a Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant and a major investor in the P fashion line, requires patience from readers. The book's slow, lengthy start is filled with introductions to the large cast, meandering backstory digressions, and more details about how to organize a fashion show than anyone outside the business needs to know. After all that,readers finally learn the crux of the story. The princeling of the title is Tsai Lian, governor of Jiangsu, one of the largest and wealthiest provinces in China. The Tsai family controls everything that goes on there including land sales, permits, and licenses. Now they are pressuring Ava's old friend Xu to get into the manufacture and sale of illegal drugs. If he refuses, they can destroy his legitimate business. Ava brings all her accounting skills and media contacts into play in her plan to fight the Tsai family. The tension in this book is personal and political; readers looking for heart-stopping action and thrills should look elsewhere.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Slow start, but interesting story
It's exciting reading another Ava lee novel. I Thought too much time at the start was spent on the fashion show /PO launching .
Once the digging by Ava started I became hooked. A very anti- climatic ending though,I'm afraid....was looking for & expecting fireworks! - that didn't happen, which was disappointing. Still enjoyed reading the story