THE WATER RAT OF WANCHAI
by Ian Hamilton
House of Anansi Press
Forensic accountant Ava Lee has a lot going for her. She's a knock-out sexy Chinese Canadian, living in a pricey Toronto condo, with both the brains and the brawn (thanks to an ancient martial art, Bak mei) to excel at her job.
Working with her Hong Kong based "Uncle", a man of many connections, some of them possibly sinister, it's her job to track down missing money and ensure it's returned. This is where the Bak mei comes in handy, but only as a last resort. She's savvy and smart enough to manipulate the situation, ensuring a favourable result.
But this time out, there's a further tie as she's tracking a missing $5 million owed to the nephew of her Uncle's friend, when a seafood importing deal goes wrong. Her efforts take her to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Guyana and the British Virgin Islands, as she tracks her slippery target. In Guyana, she's forced to make a deal with the deadly Captain Robbins,the man who controls it all -- the police, the politics, her only means of escape.
She needs his help and it's available...at a price. The stakes change as the elaborate con she's concocted races to a deadline, and all she can really hope to get out of it is alive.
Ava Lee is a Havergal grad who still maintains the close traditional family ties and all that entails. She's resourceful, attractive, and independent ... a kick-ass 'today' woman who fits the label of heroine. How she works through the ruthlessness she encounters, makes it a thrilling read. And best yet, it's the first of four.
It's Ian Hamilton's first thriller but he's long been a newspaper and magazine writer, plus his nonfiction book, The Children's Crusade, was a Canadian Book-of-the-Month selection.
This is the first in Anansi's new crime imprint, Spiderline and they've started out with fireworks. Readers who delight in international crime thrillers will be drawn into the fast pace, the exotic settings, and the gritty texture of the writing.