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Ghost Hero (Bill Smith & Lydia Chin) Hardcover – September 27, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Bill Smith & Lydia Chin (Book 11)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780312544508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312544508
  • ASIN: 0312544502
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,477,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"S.J. Rozan is a good old-fashioned mystery writer, and I mean that as a high compliment."
--Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post
 
"...excellent ... Engaging characters, crisp dialogue, intelligent storytelling, and a minimum of violence add up to another winner for Rozan."
--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
 
"Rozan picks up the pace and adds a new plot twist to pull off another coup."
--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
 
"Rozan delivers another thoroughly entertaining, meticulously plotted and utterly riveting installment of her Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series.... rival PI Jack Lee is a delightful addition."
--RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!)
 
"...more cons and double-crosses than The Sting."
--Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

S.J. ROZAN is author of many critically acclaimed novels which have won most of crime fiction's greatest honors, including the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Macavity, and Nero awards.  Born and raised in the Bronx, Rozan now lives in lower Manhattan.  

More About the Author

SJ Rozan was born and raised in the Bronx and is proud of it. She spent over twenty years as an architect in New York City and is kind of proud of that, too. Now she writes and teaches. She's done 10 books in the Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series (the newest, ON THE LINE, comes out Sept. 28, 2010) and two standalones. She's also published three dozen short stories. A collection of her stories, A TALE ABOUT A TIGER, is available, and a second volume is coming.

SJ's work has won the Edgar, Anthony, Shamus, Nero and Macavity Awards, and she's a recipient of the Japanese Maltese Falcon. She's served on the National Boards of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She's a past President of the Private Eye Writers of America. She's been Guest of Honor at Left Coast Crime (El Paso, 2003), Toastmaster at Bouchercon (Indianapolis, 2009), an invited speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (2003) and as if that weren't enough, she has the key to the city of Fort Worth, Texas.

Customer Reviews

I gave the book a five stars because it is great and deserves it.
Mikesgirl
Yet again SJ Rozan charms with her carefully drawn characters and her well crafted story .
Ed King
The Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series is one of the best of it's genre.
Laine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By miscellany78 on September 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I happened to stumble upon S.J. Rozan's Lydia Chin/Bill Smith mysteries a couple of years ago in my public library. What a delightful find! I've read every entry in the series and loved each of them, and "Ghost Hero" is no exception. Thanks to the magic of modern technology, I pre-ordered this, it downloaded to my Kindle the day it was released, and I'd read it within 24 hours. And it was well worth every minute of lost sleep.

Rozan is a very capable writer, with an eye and ear for detail that make it easy to get lost in her books. Her pacing is exceptional, and she keeps you in suspense without dragging it out endlessly. But Bill and Lydia are a step above anything else of hers I've read, and I believe this is because she's developed two strong, distinct, compelling-yet-believeable main characters. Ultimately, the series works because you care about what happens to these people.

So. Let me break this into two parts.

The Mystery: Fantastic. Lydia is hired to chase down some Chinese art that may or may not exist, but if it is, it's worth a lot of money. Simple enough premise, which becomes increasingly complex as the story develops. Soon enough, governments are involved, as are art dealers, and academics, and thugs, and everybody is using an alias. You don't really know who is who, or more accurately whom to trust, until the last few chapters. Some of it is foreshadowed enough that you can see it coming, but not all of it. I find it's a good balance and like every entry in this series, has a really nice flow to it.

The Relationship: Stop now if you don't like spoilers! Okay, one of the things that makes this series unique, and fun, is the relationship between Lydia and Bill.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. G. Ritts on September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lydia Chin and Bill Smith, with help from another P.I., art expert Jack Lee, make the rounds of art galleries and Chinese art experts from the world of academe. It turns out Lydia and Bill, and Jack, are working on the same case, but for different clients. They duck a few bullets and throw some brickbats of their own. Clients are not who they identify themselves as, the dramatis personae expand as the story unfolds, and the case may turn into an international incident. An echo reverberates from the Tiananmen Square protests as a back-drop to the story.

Ms. Rozan has given us a terrific book to savor. She looks into the workings of legend, honor, and obsession in this eleventh book of the series. There is plenty of action, drama, and humor to go around, and we get to glance at the use of serving tea as a civilizing effect in Chinese culture.

Once again, I'm a very satisfied fan of this author's work. This time she has even posted an Art Guide ([...]) and 30 Days of Art ([...]) to give us an idea of the world this novel inhabits. Check out the art. Check out the book! We're never too old to increase our liberal arts education.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marjorie Tucker on September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
There are few authors that can keep a series fresh and entertaining in the way that S.J. Rozan has with her Lydia Chin/Bill Smith PI books. In her 11th, GHOST HERO, she brings her two private investigators into the world of art (Chinese and Chinese-American) in the galleries of New York City where they cross paths with another PI. I won't say any more because I know that part of the joy of reading a book is discovering what comes next. I will say that Rozan's humor, her intricate plots (that feel like a literary peeling away of the layers on an onion), her keen observations about human nature and her street smarts make this another wonderful addition to the series. I prefer to read most series in the order that they were written, but if you haven't read any of this series before (and why haven't you?), this would be an excellent place to start. But I think that you'll then go back to CHINA TRADE (the 1st in the series) and start all over again. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pat Browning on December 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
GHOST HERO started off slowly and after a few pages I was tempted to abandon it. However, I like the character of American-Chinese PI Lydia Chin, so I kept reading. Lydia is focused and fearless but also careful. She sub-leases from a travel agency and has a panic button connected to the agency. If she presses the button the travel agents will call the police. Lydia also keeps a .22 hidden at her back.

As the story kicks in preparations are underway for Asian Art Week, with New York City and Beijing working together on the show. The art world is agog. Rumor has it that someone is holding paintings by Chau Chun, a famous Chinese artist who has been dead for 20 years. A casualty of the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising, he is popularly known as Ghost Hero Chau.

Lydia Chin is hired by a secretive stranger to track down the rumor about the new Chau paintings. His money is good but his name is phony and so, apparently, is he. Her next secretive visitor offers her $15,000 to stop looking for the paintings and delivers a mild threat when she refuses. Another case of good money, phony name. Some basic detective work identifies him as an employee of the Chinese Embassy.

Meanwhile, PI Jack Lee, also an American-born Chinese, is hired by a noted art professor to check out the rumors. The professor was a personal friend of the late Ghost Hero and was with him during the Tiananmen uprising. Adding to the muddle, the professor's artist daughter is married to a dissident poet who is imprisoned in China.

Do the paintings exist or don't they? Jack Lee, Bill Smith and Lydia Chin decide to pool their resources and work together. The villain everyone loves to hate is a greedy, pig-eyed gallery owner.
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