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The Water Rat of Wanchai Paperback – Jan 24 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Spiderline; 1st Edition edition (Jan. 24 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887842518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887842511
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

. . . a book about a forensic accountant that has tension, suspense and action. [. . .] When the central character looks like Lucy Liu, kicks like Jackie Chan and has a travel budget like Donald Trump, the story is anything but boring. [. . .] I look forward to the next one. (Anne Sutherland Montreal Gazette 2011-03-11)

If the other novels are half as good as this debut by Ian Hamilton, then readers are going to celebrate. [. . .] This is a terrific story that's certain to be on the Arthur Ellis Best First Novel list this year. Even better news is that the next three novels in the series are already written and ready to print. Ava Lee is going to be chasing the accounts for a long, long time. (Margaret Cannon Globe and Mail 2011-02-17)

. . . one of the most engaging female leads I've had the pleasure of reading about in quite a while . . . an absolute page-turner that's difficult to put down. (Scott Stewart Inside Halton 2011-03-10)

Ava is unbeatable at just about everything. Just wait for her to roll out her bak mei against the bad guys. She's perfect. She's fast. (Jack Batten Toronto Star 2011-02-19)

In the age of Lisbeth Salander, it's not hard to see why Hamilton's jet-setting heroine is so appealing. (Kevin Chong National Post 2011-02-18)

Readers will discern in Ava undertones of Lisbeth Salandar, the ferocious protagonist of the late Stieg Larsson's crime novels . . . irresistible . . . (Joan Barfoot London Free Press 2011-03-26)

The Water Rat of Wanchai delivers . . . [it] feels like the beginning of a crime-fighting saga . . . [a] great story told with colour, energy and unexpected punch. (Don Graves Hamilton Spectator 2011-04-08)

. . . enjoyable . . . [Ian Hamilton] creates a terrific atmosphere of suspense. (Sarah Weinman Quill & Quire 2011-05-01)

Few heroines are as feisty as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Lisbeth Salander, but Ian Hamilton’s Ava Lee could give her a run for her money . . . Gripping . . . [Ava is] smart, gutsy, and resourceful. (Stylist UK 2011-10-05)

"The desperate situations in The Water Rat of Wanchai are what keep the pages turning, but what will keep readers coming back to the series is Ava Lee." (Buried in Print Blog 2012-04-02)

"The Water Rat of Wanchai is a solid and exciting read and a great start to the series." (Editorial Eyes 2012-04-07)

About the Author

Ian Hamilton is the author of seven novels in the Ava Lee series: The Dragon Head of Hong Kong: The Ava Lee Prequel, The Water Rat of Wanchai, The Disciple of Las Vegas, The Wild Beasts of Wuhan, The Red Pole of Macau, The Scottish Banker of Surabaya, and The Two Sisters of Borneo. The Water Rat of Wanchai was the winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel, an Amazon.ca Top 100 Book of the Year, an Amazon.ca Top 100 Editors’ Pick, an Amazon.ca Canadian Pick, an Amazon.ca Mysteries and Thrillers Pick, a Toronto Star Top 5 Fiction Book of the Year, and a Quill & Quire Top 5 Fiction Book of the Year.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bjb on Feb. 14 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was very difficult to put down! The pace just continued to build throughout, the narrative never faltered and the touches of local colour throughout Ava's journey were incredible. I am hooked! Cannot wait 'till the next book is out!!!

BJB
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TFSOttawa on Feb. 9 2011
Format: Paperback
Who knew a book about seafood fraud could be so interesting!? It's great to see a strong, female character who is as strong in body as she is in mind. The locations were different than your run of the mill thriller and the villains were so three dimensional. I look forward to reading the next Ava Lee novel to see what trouble she gets herself in (and out of).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JDM on Feb. 8 2011
Format: Paperback
Every once in a while you come across a new book that is the first in a series and curse because you have to wait for the next book to come out................This is a great read, Hamilton spellbinds you with the plot, the places, the people, and the food. Fantastic, bring on more of Ava Lee..........
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By pollywog on Sept. 30 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A page turner with the protagonist a forensic accountant? Yup... Somehow this actually works. The story starts off a bit on the slow side. The author goes to great lengths to describe locations / settings, at times making the writing a bit self-conscious if not contrived. There are also details to Ava Lee (main character) that are very interesting but have no pay-off in the storytelling. Rather, these facts are left dangling. Perhaps the pay-off is in one of the other novels in the series? If not, it begs the question "why?". The author also tends to repeat some literary suspense "tricks" (the phone that almost goes to voicemail before it is picked up). Eventually, the plot pace picks up and the energy of the story is quite invigorating. All in all a fine read for the cottage or rainy days.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on May 8 2011
Format: Paperback
Here is my list of reasons as to why I think this is a blockbuster of a novel in the crime-thriller vein:
1) Nothing stock about the main characters in this first novel of a promising series. Ava Lee, as the protagonist, is both shrewd and wily in how she tackles a complex investigation, Chinese style, involving delinquent corporate accounts, and is well complemented by a cast of equally artful and believable antagonists;
2) The novel is fast moving and seamless as it moves between a number of global settings. The characters appear to be well suited to their clime, whether it be in big entrepots like Hong Kong, or tropical spots like the British Virgin Islands, or dank little hell holes like Guyana. Hamilton makes sure things happen big time;
3) Ava belongs to the new smart generation of gumshoes who is connected to their offshore sources through cellphone and the Internet. Millions of dollars are wired in an instant from the China Mainland to the US and the Caribbean because the deals are big and the stakes are high. Ava'a task as a forensic accountant is to act on behalf of a client in chasing down an American businessman who has absconded with a big private loan after his shrimp packing company went bust;
4) The reader should have no trouble understanding how Ava operates as a sleuth. It is certainly not by the book. Pragmatics and stealth are her game in running her quarry, Seto, to ground. It doesn't hurt to have a mentor back home who is willing to advise her and bankroll her many hair-raising escapades;
5) Ava has to make some very risky alliances with very unscrupulous people who are looking for a piece of the action.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By camille liu on Feb. 1 2011
Format: Paperback
My God, what a great book. Ava Lee is the smartest, edgiest character I've come across in crime/mystery fiction in years. The plot is fantastic, and Captain Robbins is a first class villain. Hamilton can really write. His descriptions of food actually made me hungry when I was reading them; and the detail he provides about places like Bangkok and Guyana makes you feel he's really been there (which evidently he has). Ava Lee is a keeper. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Susan Mills on Dec 7 2011
Format: Paperback
Before I put this one in the recycling bin I feel it necessary to leave a counterbalancing review to all the accolades that encouraged me to buy the book in the first place. My rule of thumb has always been to read 50 or 100 pages before deciding whether or not reading further is worth my time. I managed to get through 91 pages of 'The Water Rat of Wanchai' before I could stand no more.

The idea of a clever thriller about forensic accounting was a good one. Unfortunately, the book itself appears to have been written by an accountant. If your idea of acceptable descriptive phrasing allows for nothing more than name dropping expensive brand products then you may like this. If you enjoy reading about a character who is so flat and uninspired that she makes the term two dimensional sound positive you may like Ava. Why take my word for it when I can give you an example from page 53:

"Ava travelled light. It took her less than half an hour to pack her Louis Vuitton monogrammed suitcase and her 'Shanghai Tang Double Happiness' bag. The suitcase was where she packed her business look: black linen slacks, a pencil skirt, Cole Hahn black leather pumps, two sets of black bras and panties, and three Brooks Brothers shirts in powder blue, pink, and white - one with a button down collar, the other two with modified Italian collars, and all of them with French cuffs. She chose a small jewelry case to hold her Cartier Tank Francaise watch, a set of green jade cufflinks, and a simple gold crucifix. She then went through the leather pouch that held her collection of of clasps, pins, barrettes, headbands, and combs and took out an ivory chignon pin she especially loved, adding it to the jewelry case. Ava wore her hair up nearly all the time and like to accentuate it.
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