"The King of Shanghai", by Ian Hamilton

The King of Shanghai - Ian  Hamilton

The Triad Years

Book # 7, in the Ava Lee series

This series is a huge entertainment hit for me and really love Ava Lee she is a brilliant, sexy and formidably martial arts-trained forensic accountant and she is always propelled into a fast-paced suspense, always far away in exotic locales and her adventures always includes a rich cast of characters both dangerous as well as lovable. I never get tired of her escapades. No worries if you did not read the previous books you will fit right in if you start here.

The seventh novel in the Ava Lee series finds Ava getting caught up in the election for the chairmanship of the Triad Societies. Xu, who was Uncle’s protégé wants to invest $150 million into her firm, and he assures her he didn’t gain the money from gang-related activity…..at the same time, Xu is trying to get voted in as the top dog of the Triad, and only has one serious competitor.

This story did not disappoint and if you are curious about the power of China, the unorthodox Ava Lee mystery is both enlightening and delightful to read. The prelude introduces us to the galloping Chinese fashion world of knock-offs and the insatiable appetite for affordable designer clothes. Then Mr. Hamilton soon put the fashion world to the backburner and refocuses the narrative on the relationship between Xu and Ava Lee. 

The plot is well structures and what moves the story along is how the characters are decked in a hybrid of exoticism and the modernity of China. Ava Lee sexual orientation does not come to play here as it did in other novels although there is a subtle sexual tension between Xu and Ava Lee throughout the novel. Of course this ambivalence reflects the skill of the author in keeping us hooked for more.

With “The King of Shanghai” Ian Hamilton has done it again. He has another great chapter in the series with a thriller aspect that has kept me turning the pages.