Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Dreams of Joy, Shanghai Girls, Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles.
The controversial construction of a massive dam on the Yangzi River is the backdrop for the latest adventures of Liu Hulan, inspector in the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing, and her husband, American lawyer David Stark, familiar to readers of Flower Net and The Interior. Many years in construction, the Three Gorges Dam will benefit millions of people, but it will also bury untold archeological wealth. At the start of this complex, atmospheric thriller, Hulan is emotionally estranged from David after their young daughter's death from meningitis, for which she blames herself. Officially, she is scrutinizing a reactionary cult, the All-Patriotic Society, when she is sent to investigate the murder by drowning of a young American archeologist, a man who may have stolen ancient artifacts from the dam site. David accompanies her and they begin to repair their relationship, but the body count mounts and the sinister All-Patriotic Society leader, Xiao Da, rallies his followers against the dam. The tension reaches the breaking point at an auction in Hong Kong at which the most precious artifacts are offered for sale; soon after, Hulan and David are fighting for their lives in dark, slimy-walled caves alongside the Yangzi. The melodramatic conclusion has none of the elegance of the prologue, which casually but exquisitely notes the progress of the archeologist's decaying body along the river, through narrows and bays beyond the magnificent gorges. But See succeeds in widening the reader's knowledge about the politics and culture of contemporary China while racing along with an absorbing story. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (May 27) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
In her third mystery thriller featuring Chinese inspector Liu Hulan (after Flower Net and The Interior), See does for Chinese antiquities what Elizabeth Peters did for the Dead Sea Scrolls in The Dead Sea Cipher. Since the death of her daughter, Hulan has buried herself in her work at the Ministry of Public Security, obsessed with bringing in members of the All-Patriotic Society. Her husband, American attorney David Stark, has found solace in his own caseload. When the body of an American archaeologist is found in Yangzi River near the Three Rivers Dam, Hulan is sent to investigate. Since numerous antiquities seem to have also disappeared from the archaeological work site, David accompanies her. Soon there are more fatalities, all marked by ritualistic similarities. Hulan and David must overcome their estrangement and work together to solve the crimes. In a land where bribery and corruption are the norm, there are many suspects. The novel flows beautifully, engaging readers in the mystery while gently introducing them to China's rich cultural history. For all public libraries.-Nanci Milone Hill, Lucius Beebe Memorial Lib., Wakefield, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-In their third outing, which can be read independently of Flower Net (1998) and The Interior (1999, both HarperCollins), Inspector Liu Hulan of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and her American husband, attorney David Stark, are sent from Beijing to the Three Gorges Dam construction site. The plot involves searching for a written record of 5000 years of continuous civilization in China, an ancient myth, the smuggling and sale of valuable artifacts in Hong Kong, the murder of several members of an international crew of archaeologists, and the increasing popularity of a Falun-Gong-like cult, all set against the backdrop of the largest engineering project ever. Some actions in the last 50 pages call for suspension of disbelief, but up to that point this is another good read, especially for Sinophiles. There is one caveat: all of the Chinese speak with double meanings and are smart and crafty, while almost all of the Americans are portrayed as naive, obvious, stupid, or all three until the very end of the book.-Judy McAloon, Potomac Library, Prince William County, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"Stays with you long after the conventional thriller is
-The Washington Post Book World
"Lisa See is one of the classier practitioners of . . . the international thriller. . . . She draws her characters . . . with convincing depth, and offers up documentary social detail that reeks of freshly raked muck. See's China is as vivid as Upton Sinclair's Chicago."
-The New York Times Book Review
"Mixing history, myths, and current events, Dragon Bones is an extraordinarily rich novel. It reveals the emotional and economical entanglement of China with the West, and tells a story of violence, lust, greed, fear, and desperation. The novel not only is a page-turner but is also timely."
Author of Waiting and The Crazed
"The novel flows beautifully, engaging readers in the mystery while gently introducing them to China's rich cultural history. . . . See does for Chinese antiquities what Elizabeth Peters did for the Dead Sea Scrolls in The Dead Sea Cipher."
"An exciting murder mystery . . . This book truly captures man's constant desire for material gain, and one unusual detective's goal to right the wrongs in her world."
-Colorado Springs Independent
"See succeeds in widening the reader's knowledge about the politics and culture of contemporary China while racing along with an absorbing story."
"[An] absorbing portrait of China."
-Lansing Star Journal (MI)