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Flower Net Hardcover – Sep 11 1997

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Amazon.ca First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (Sept. 11 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060175273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060175276
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,997,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

"Inspector Liu, do I need to remind you that China has customs and rituals for dealing with guests?" says a top Chinese official to one his police investigators early in Lisa See's tremendously powerful debut thriller. "Remember that all foreigners are potentially dangerous. Don't be tempted to say what you think. Don't show anger or irritation. Be humble and careful and gracious. Draw them in. Let them think they have a connection to you, that they owe you, that they should never cause you any embarrassment. This is how we have treated outsiders for centuries. This is how you will treat this foreigner as long as he is our guest." The fact that the official is her father and the foreigner in question is her former lover, an assistant U.S. attorney named David Stark, makes things much more complicated for Liu Hulan. Hulan is a former Red Princess, one of the privileged children of Chairman Mao's most trusted aides. When two young men (the son of the American ambassador to China and the son of an immensely powerful Chinese businessman with possible criminal connections) are murdered under similar circumstances, Hulan and Stark are cynically manipulated by their respective governments into a joint investigation that exposes the worst of both countries. The situation also gives See a chance to meld her impressive talent for writing fiction with the solid journalism skills that invigorated her family saga On Gold Mountain.

From School Library Journal

YA?The tranquil setting of a Chinese ice-skating pond is shattered when Wing Yun and his granddaughter discover the body of a young white man frozen in the ice. An ocean away, off the coast of Southern California, the body of a young Chinese man is found decomposing in the drinking water for a shipload of illegal immigrants. When it is found that both of the deceased have connections to a Chinese gang, the Rising Phoenix, Chinese Inspector Liu Hulan and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Stark are teamed to locate the killer. Liu and David, who had been linked romantically years before, realize their case is being run like the flower net used by Chinese fishermen who throw the mesh wide to trap everything within its reach. American and Chinese cultures are naturally juxtaposed as Liu and David move from one side of the Pacific to the other, offering a richness in background beyond the usual espionage tale. The writing is crisp and the story moves at a fast clip with flashbacks adding background fibers to the webbing. This top-quality novel will be enjoyed by teens who like romance, adventure, or just a great story.?Pam Spencer, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 24 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Living in Beijing and reading this book, I would recommend it to anyone who likes the "who done it" stuff.
The author writes a mystery that could be believed. Obviously she knows Beijing (except Silk Road should be Silk Alley [Xiu Shui Lu]). Her place names and descriptions are for the most part very accurate and the descriptions of the "old road" from Beijing Capital Airport is very accurate. The descriptions of the Airport itself are good, but one has to have been there to understand it. The smells tell it all!!!!-- Just go to the "W.C." at Beijing Airport... You will be a believer!
A lot of history in the text makes it interesting. I am sure there will be a sequel...
It is a good "quick" read. Interesting, accurate, enjoyable, and fun, with some twists and turns as a good murder mystery should be. I would recommend -- it's good "who done it stuff." Take this book for what it is. Not a "Hemingway," but recommended "airplane" read. As good as Clancy or Brown on "techo-stuff" and as good as Ludlum or Le Carre' on the "spy stuff". This is fun and gives a good background on China. No Human Rights abuses, etc. Just some "eye for an eye" justice.
[Stuff is a "catch all phrase"]
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By A Customer on Sept. 4 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read very few mystery novels (mostly Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot tales as a child) and I was delighted and surprised to discover Flower Net. To have a woman take the typical "male role"--stoic and yet vulnerable at times is refreshing. To then have that woman be a Chinese woman is even more revolutionary in the context of detective novels (at least from what I know about that genre). Not ever having traveled to China, I'm not sure about the accuracy about See's details in that regard. (see other Amazon customers' reviews) However, as an Angeleno, I found her research and details to be incredibly accurate: small things like the US attorney's office being on the 13th floor, etc.
I hope that Lisa See writes many more books, including a sequel to Flower Net.
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By A Customer on Oct. 21 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book hard to put down, with very ingenious plot twists, compelling characters, and an unusual and seductive international setting in Red China/CA. This book gets you thinking, and its clear and focused style is a joy to read in a genre that I often find overwhelmed by overblown style and simplistic plots.
Although I found the romance element to be unrealistic, the characters were well rendered, and the story unique enough to have me hoping that Flower Net will be the first in a series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I always enjoy her books and have found the Red Princess series very interesting in learning about life in China. The story holds your interest and I enjoy the details.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 137 reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Unique Thriller Nov. 13 2004
By Jaydekitten - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It took me FOREVER to get into Lisa See's book "Flower Net". It seems like the book just sat on my nightstand for 3 weeks with the bookmark protruding from the creases of Chapter One. And then when I actually made an effort to read the book, it was finished in a day.

Lisa See has succeeded in creating a unique and gripping thriller. When the son of a American Ambassador and the son of one of Beijing's political elite both turn up dead under mysterious circumstances, U.S. Attorney David Stark is reunited with an old flame, Liu Hulan, to solve the case. Following leads, the case unravels a trail of clues from China to the United States, leaving David and Hulan to find the connection.

Lisa See has developed a very intriguing read, especially to people interested in Chinese culture. I did struggle in a few parts, making me wish that I had more solid knowledge of Chinese History. It was a relief for me at the end of "Flower Net" when I discovered that most of my confusion (in reference to historical facts) had been resolved. I found See's inclusion of Chinese Herbal Medicine to be especially interesting. I do agree with some of the reviewers that some of the plot twists seemed very forced or convenient (and yet somehow you could still see them coming a mile away).

My least favorite part about this book are the characters. It seemes to me that the background characters in "Flower Net" were more interesting and appealing than David Stark and Liu Hulan were. In fact, I found both the main characters to be dreadfully dull and pretty one-dimensional.

I would recommend this book as a quick weekend read for fans of thrillers and especially to anyone interested in Chinese history and culture. Aside from that, I think it might make an interesting movie, and I enjoyed "Flower Net" enough to convince myself to check out the sequel.

Hope this helps! :)
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Unusual setting and interesting heroine April 20 2001
By Carol Peterson Hennekens - Published on Amazon.com
Those who read mysteries by the dozen can get pretty bored with the same old settings, stereotypical investigators and cookie-cutter crooks. The main virtue of "The Flower Net" is a nice change of pace on all three counts. Despite the opening of China, it's still a pretty rare setting for fiction, mystery fiction in particular. Likewise, the featuring of a female Chinese investigator was refreshing in concept. Even better is that she's a nicely complicated yet empathetic protagonist. Her American counterpart, David, isn't nearly as interesting. While the villians aren't surprising in the long haul, they aren't just the usual Triad types either.
If the book has a weakness, it's the revived romance between Liu and David. It seemed irrelevant to be crime solving and not very interesting.
This review is based on the six-hour abridged tape version. I found that the plot followed pretty well. The narrator, an American-Chinese woman was a mixed blessing. Certainly there were aspects of the story where her underlying speach patterns were perfect but sometimes her tone was a bit awkward.
Bottom-line: A nice change of pace from mysteries set in the US or England. Not great literature but I learned some new things and like Liu enough to want to read a sequel.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Murder and mystery in China May 27 2008
By Frank J. Konopka - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's not often that a novel gives the reader an insight into a secretive foreign country, but this excellent book actually does that for China. In addition to the murders and the mysteries, there is a running font of information about life in China around 1996 or so. It is very instructive to a Westerner to learn how everyday life is regimented to an almost unreal degree, down to even folks whe can come into your home and check your refrigerator! The writing is first-rate, and the plot moves along quite well. The mystery remains so almost until the end, and it leaves the reader wanting more. Fortunately, the author has written two subsequent books in this series, and I look forward very much to reading them!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A superbly crafted mystery Feb. 15 2001
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
On a January morning in Beijing, a child skating on a frozen lake finds the corpse of a white man under the ice. Liu Hulan, a female detective, is assigned to head what will be a delicate investigation, for the murder victim is the son of the American Ambassador. Thousands of miles away, David Stark, an assistant U.S. attorney, boards the China Peony, a barely seaworthy freighter carrying hundreds of illegal immigrants to America. On board he finds the badly decomposed body of a "Red Prince", the son of one of China's top officials. The murders appear to be unconnected until rare plant fibers are found coating the respiratory tracts of both victims and the Chinese and Americans agree to work together. The Flower Net is a superbly crafted mystery and in this full-length, thirteen hour, unabridged, audio cassette format with flawless production values and a wonderfully gifted narrator, offers the listener a true "theatre of the mind" experience.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
great read March 5 2007
By Garybender - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I find her series with the new character very exciting and a read which pulls me in and wanting the series to go on forever. I also am fascinated and intrigued by how Lisa pulls in current general events between china and the US into eyeopening suspense