This is my first encounter with Ava Lee and while the story didn’t open as the hard-edged investigation I was expecting, Hamilton caught my interest with his colourful setting and cast of characters. Especially with Director Lau Lau, the mastermind behind the contentious film, The General of Tiananmen Square. A dramatization of the massacre which occurred on that fateful day.
The story begins at the Cannes Film Festival. Ava Lee’s involvement in the film is in the background but she attends the premiere with actress and partner Pang Fai. Glamour and excitement abound. The film wins many awards, the actors high praise and Lau Lau much acclaim. Film producer Chen Jei strikes a lucrative distribution deal.
Concerned with timing in order to be considered for the Oscars, Chen travels to Los Angeles to confront the distributor regarding the delay in the film’s release and goes missing. There are powerful players involved. The Chinese government has reasons for not wanting the film to be shown. There is no shortage of money or muscle. People involved in the movie are in danger. Ava has to find a way for the movie to be shown and to protect her friends. What I like about this lady is she doesn’t back down from anyone.
Hamilton gives us a look into the darker, shadier side of the movie industry. He does so with a clever plot, vivid images, and international intrigue of a historical event. Although part of a series, this novel does well on its own. Ava Lee, forensic accountant, and martial arts expert is not someone you want as an enemy. I like her.
About the Author
IAN HAMILTON is the acclaimed author of fifteen books in the Ava Lee series, four in the Lost Decades of Uncle Chow Tung series, and the standalone novel Bonnie Jack. National bestsellers, his books have been shortlisted for the Crime Writers of Canada Award (formerly the Arthur Ellis Award), the Barry Award, and the Lambda Literary Prize. BBC Culture named him one of the ten mystery/crime writers who should be on your bookshelf. The Ava Lee series is being adapted for television.
- Publisher : Spiderline (House of Anansi, Jan. 3 2023)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 360 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1487010214
- ISBN-13 : 978-1487010218
Growing up in South Branch, Allan Hudson was encouraged to read from an early age by his mother who was a schoolteacher. He lives in Dieppe, NB, with his wife Gloria. He has enjoyed a lifetime of adventure, travel and uses his many experiences as ideas for his writing. He is an author of action/adventure novels, historical fiction and a short story collection. His short stories – The Ship Breakers & In the Abyss – received Honourable Mention in the New Brunswick Writer’s Federation competition. He has stories published on commuterlit.com, The Golden Ratio and his blog - South Branch Scribbler.