THE WILD BEASTS OF WUHAN:
An Ava Lee novel (#2)


By Ian Hamilton

Picador, July, 2013 ($15.OO)
ISBN-13: 978-1-250-03229-4

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

This is the second book in the Ava Lee, forensic accountant series. Ad-copy bills her as "...alluring but deadly, with a mind like a steel trap." Ms. Lee tracks down missing millions of dollars for rich guys who have been conned, swindled, or in some way bilked out of their money. She and her Triad-connected "Uncle" pocket 30% of what they recover. This escapade involves art forgery.

I still can't decide how seriously to take the Ava Lee books. I find them fast, fun romps. Rather like a B-grade martial arts movie with a kick-ass heroine (in the Jennifer Garner Elektra vein) with a dash of James Bond thrown in for good measure. (The Roger Moore "Bond," only female.) Ava Lee, to me, is more of a fantasy heroine than a real live one.

If the reader can suspend their beliefs of what a female "problem solver" can or should be...and lower their expectations just a bit (after all, this isn't great literature we're discussing here!) and give the story half a chance, the reader might find themselves enjoying the caper. On the other hand, if taken too seriously, I suspect many readers will find Ms. Lee an unbelievable, unsympathetic, and somewhat tedious character and they will abandon the book only partially read.

Please click here to read a review of the first book in the Ava Lee series, THE DISCIPLE OF LAS VEGAS.

The third book in the series, THE RED POLE OF MACAU, is scheduled for publication by Picador in the winter of 2014.

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