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The Water Rat of Wanchai: An Ava Lee Novel Paperback – May 6, 2014
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“Cutting edge crime novels.” ―BBC.com
“Hamilton makes each page crackle with the kind of energy that could easily jump to the movie screen.” ―Rachel Kramer Bussel, Penthouse
“Formidable...Ava Lee is unbeatable at just about everything....She's perfect.” ―The Toronto Star
Top Customer Reviews
I didn't know forensic accounting could be so exciting...After reading this book I will never see numbers the same way... This story is one that is immediately engaging, quite original in nature and fun to read. I couldn't zip through the pages fast enough, a fascinating tale to the end.
Ava Lee, a young Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant specializes in recovering massive debts, at 5'3', 115lbs she may not seem to be a threat but her sharpness and unorthodox way of operating have guaranteed her success where others have failed. She works out of Toronto for a Hong Kong based company run by a mysterious man known as "Uncle". They are hired on a commission bases by people who suspect they have been defrauded and hope to recover some of their missing funds.
In "The Water Rat of Wanchai", Ava accepts to track down the $5 million owed to one of "Uncle's" relatives. His nephew financed a major order of cooked shrimp for a large U.S. retailer, after the money was paid out; the retailer reneged on his responsibility to repay the debt.
The first part of the book may be a bit slow and the narrative slightly devoted to everyday life however I enjoyed Ava's travelogue to Seattle, Hong-Kong, Thailand, and British Guyana on the trail of the missing money. Her encounters bring her deep into a culture of fast deals, corrupt law enforcers and the way of life of the Thai katoeys. The storyline has sufficient detail to capture the essence of each port of call to make it exciting and captivating without side tracking the main plot.
The second half of the book picks up a notch when we learn Ava is not your ordinary accountant she can also hold her own with tough kung-fu moves in a world where physical intimidation rules.Read more ›
Ava's current task is the collection of $5 million stolen from a company that financed a seafood supplier. Her travels take her to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Trinidad, Guyana, and the British Virgin Islands. None of the locales gave me the sense of seeing anything that a tourist wouldn't see, but I did get the impression that Ian Hamilton has actually been to those places. A resident's view of the countries is unnecessary as Ava has a tourist's perspective, including an obsessive concern with the amenities available at hotels, as well as their star ratings. Needless to say, Guyana disappoints her. That crime-ridden location nevertheless gives her a chance to show off her formidable fighting skills. At the same time, the story's violence is kept to a necessary minimum. This is more of a cerebral thriller than an action novel, although the action moves at a brisk pace.
Ava is my kind of thriller hero. She's intelligent, resourceful, cunning, a woman of action who thinks before she acts. She gets things done and doesn't monkey around on her way to her goal. Much the same can be said of Hamilton, who writes with certitude, reaching his goal with a minimum of fuss. This is a tightly constructed story that doesn't waste a word. That is a skill that has become increasingly rare among modern thriller writers. The story avoids overreaching and is easy to believe, another rarity in modern thrillers.Read more ›
Ava Lee is a clever, attractive, Canadian accountant who through several twists and turns of her life has become partners with Uncle Chow who lives in Hong Kong. Their business is to recover monies due their customers using whatever means necessary. The debts are all legitimate but the means to the end, may not be.
Completely enjoyable read with a kickass protagonist who begins by using her brains first but if that doesn't work she isn't afraid to get deadly. You will find yourself liking and rooting for Ava to beat the bad guys at their own game. There are several twists to the story that make it just that much better.
The second annoying quirk is the word panties. I find it very hard to believe that A) the main character would refer to her underwear as panties, and B) that it was really necessary to mention said 'panties' quite so often. There were times when I honestly felt like I was reading a book about a Chinese-Canadian lesbian forensic panty accountant, brought to you by Starbucks.
OH! Also, it's kind of hilarious how proud the main character seems of being able to remember what time it is somewhere else in the world when making phone calls. But, I enjoyed the book otherwise, and eventually these quirks were just a funny running joke rather than an annoyance. In the final chapter, the author manages to mention both panties and Starbucks VIA instant coffee within the same couple paragraphs.
I bet he wrote that page and then sat back and just smiled to himself. "I've done it," he probably thought. "I've written the perfect page."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have no idea how you can read this novel and not like it. It is a plot driven thriller. The heroine, Ava Lee is a forensic accountant, tiny with great verve. Read morePublished 22 days ago by DrBooze
The book does not have the greatest characters is a Treston in the store it was all well entertaining I would recommend it to a lot of people the characterization was better to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mike S
This is book 1 in the "Ava Lee" series and a really enjoyable and engaging light read that I couldn’t put down. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kiwi
The writing is at a high school level. The shameless use of brand names can only lead to the conclusion that there has been consideration paid.Published 8 months ago by Tamela W Hamilton
I could not put the book down. A strong female character and global locations brought the story to life! On to the next book in the series.Published 14 months ago by bw
This is a great detective novel! The title is a reference to a Sherlock Holmes novel. I really liked this book and look forward to reading more of this series.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer