Another fast moving story featuring the wonderful Ava Lee. The plots are twisting. The villains are villainous and threaded throughout is a glimpse into Chinese society both high business wealth and high triad wealth. Very satisfying addition to the series and a fun book to whip through.
It is a sheer pleasure to read Ava Lee’s globe –trotting experiences. Each story is fresh. Although I know what to expect Mr. Hamilton throws enough curveballs to keep me curious and engaged. This latest follows “The King of Shanghai” where Ava embarked on a business partnership, The Three Sisters investment firm.
The “The Princeling of Nanjing” begins with a fashion show to launch the Po line of designer clothes. Before she can cherish her success, Ava is visited by Xu, who has a very serious problem. Xu is in trouble with a corrupt political dynasty and needs Ava’s help in the hope of finding something that can take the pressure off…. Ava and Xu had developed a relationship and a mutual trust in the last book.
It took me a few pages to get back into the groove and recall where I had left off but after a short time I was completely swept up in the story and enjoyed spending time with Ava as she navigates her world. In this episode we are treated to a lovely blueprint of how corruption might work in China. What I missed the most is we have little exhibition of lethal type Chinese martial arts that Ava often uses to put her words across, there are some subtle moves when she takes on two thugs sent to kidnap her but not what we usual see. The story moves along slowly and has many personal moments. Something is definitely brewing between Ava and Xu, seems we may have a growing affection here. Hopefully we will see how far this unexplored sexual attachment goes. It surely added piquancy to this story after all Ava is not into men…. What make this series delightful are the details Mr. Hamilton describes for the most exquisite meals, the customs and manners experienced whether you are in a high end or a hotpot restaurant. ….he compares a dish to a picture, a sport game, a musical performance and gives it personality…. I dare you not to smack your lips and savour along with the characters…. :) Some may find a wee bit too much description of food and too much traveling on unfamiliar roads in this book, I did at times. Ava is one smart, sassy, Toronto-based forensic accountant.
“The Princeling of Nanjing” is a thrill of a read that is hard to put down.
Ava Lee is with May Ling and Amanda, her partners in the Three Sisters business in Shanghai, as they start their clothing business. Their benefactor, Xu is on hand, but he reveals that a powerful Chinese family is forcing him into the drug business, and they won’t take no for an answer. He is truly between a rock and a hard spot. Drugs are a business he doesn’t want in, and if he says no they could destroy him. Although he doesn’t ask Ava for help, she feels obligated to look into the family’s financial dealings. What she finds is proof of bribes and illegal money laundering, something that might look bad within the other Chinese power structures. She begins following the money, and things get more complicated when the head of the family discovers who is doing it.
This is the 8th Ava Lee novel, and the writing continues to be smooth and topnotch. The story is character driven, and the characters actually become part of the reader. We feel a kinship to Ava, May Ling, Amanda, Xu, Sonny, Suen, and everyone involved. They are like our own family. Highly recommended.