The Wild Beasts of Wuhan

The Wild Beasts of Wuhan

An Ava Lee Novel

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
14
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Uncle and Ava are summoned by Wong Changxing, "The Emperor of Hubei" and one of the most powerful men in China, when he discovers that the Fauvist paintings he recently acquired are in fact forgeries. Ava uncovers a ring of fraudulent art dealers and follows their twisted trail to Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Dublin, London, and New York.
Publisher: Toronto : House of Anansi Press, 2012.
ISBN: 9780887842535
0887842534
Branch Call Number: FIC HAMIL
Characteristics: 340 p. --

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martins_mom Jun 21, 2017

I heard author Ian Hamilton talk about how he began a story about central character, forensic accountant and martial arts expert Ava Lee, and that the idea for the second book suggested itself before the first was finished. Now the series numbers 12 books, all highly entertaining reading.

w
wendyjotaylor
Feb 20, 2017

While far from literary masterpieces, these are a lot of fun to read and lend themselves well to a popular series made for T.V. as Mr. Hamilton likes the formulaic approach. He also has a fantasy about this beautiful Chinese woman whom he dresses and caresses with appreciative description. If he has a real life wife or husband, that wife or husband must be a little jealous! Those big breasts he emphasizes in every book really are not a feature that heterosexual women appreciate, but he certainly likes to go over her curves in an appreciative way. I found the series to be very creepy in that regard, but Ava Lee is gay so that is emphasis on her perfect body is somehow excusable. Hamilton must possibly have unrequited Chinese sexual fantasies. But that aside, the plots are fast moving and sparse in unnecessary description. Well written, though again, keep her big breasts and her perfect body and find another outfit besides her BB shirts. Getting boring in that regard.

r
redbookhound
Jan 26, 2017

This is a good read. Our heroine Ava Lee, is a strong, thoughtful, clever character and it is entertaining to follow her exploits in solving what appears at first an insoluble problem. Given the advantages of a bottomless expense account, good taste, quick wits and powerful back up from "Uncle", she's a powerhouse worthy of attention. Side note: Ava Lee is a lesbian, carrying that occupation with grace and charm. Author gives good description, taking the reader directly into Ava Lee's sights and sounds and the action. Bonus: traveling the world detecting the answers we get to go to Shanghai, London, Iceland, and several other delightfully described places. Well done.

e
Eosos
Jan 25, 2016

These books always travel to so many locations, this time from Toronto to China to the Faroe Islands, New York and London.
This story has Ava and Uncle delving into the murky world of art. With little knowledge of this world, Ava is a bit more out of her element than usual and Uncle seems to be overwhelmed by the clients demands.
The author does a good job of showing the differences between the Chinese culture and the Western culture in this one. The misunderstandings created by these is one of the most interesting parts to read.
I assume the obsession with brand names is for a reason but I'm not really understanding what, I'm sure it could be possible to just say that she had a coffee and put on her watch instead of mentioning that it's Starbucks VIA instant and a Cartier but by now it's just becoming a quirk of the books and I barely notice.

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wyenotgo
Aug 28, 2015

Once again, Ava Lee is on the hunt for people who've made off with the proceeds of fraud or theft and her clients as in previous stories, are wealthy Chinese. In this case, her clients may in fact be major obstacles in getting her job done. The lines between good and evil, perpetrator and victim begin to get blurred, so the outcome can hardly be totally satisfying -- as is often the case in real life.
Ava leads a colorful life, to say the least and she takes us to some far-flung and unusual places around the globe. If she were a real person, the airlines and top fashion design houses would love her. (product placement, anyone?)
Not the best in the Ava Lee series and somewhat lacking in drama, but pretty good escapist reading.

v
volare
Aug 18, 2014

I enjoyed this book more than the first two. We learn more about Ava's family relationships/personal life and the emphasis isn't so much on violence. The constant comments about her wardrobe/Brooks Brothers shirts and the Starbucks VIA do get tedious though, I agree with the other comments that there is too much product placement. Does the author do this to increase his word count?
It is probably best not to read these books in quick succession, it will give the reader an opportunity to cleanse the palate of the product placement aspect of the series.

s
StarGladiator
Oct 26, 2013

This book is an atrocity. Was it written by a computer? Or a serial killer in prison, minus the blood and gore? Who cares. This was a complete and utter waste of one's time! A blurb compares this author's writing to Ian Fleming? Guess they've never read Ian Fleming? (Were these other commenters actually paid for their remarks? You have to seriously wonder, after wasting time on any of Hamilton's books?)

Cdnbookworm Jun 12, 2013

This is the third book in the series featuring Ava Lee, forensic accountant. Here the book begins as she is on a cruise with her family. There is discord, and when Uncle calls with an urgent new case, Ava is easily persuaded to fly to Hong Kong on her way to Wuhan where the potential clients live. They are wanting to recover the money spent on paintings they have discovered to be fakes, all Fauvists, a group often know as Wild Beasts. Ava doesn't like the feeling she gets from Wong Changxing as she prefers a straightforward financial problem and he seems too emotional. But after a direct appeal from his wife, she agrees to do a little investigating to see what she can learn. The trail leads her to London, Ireland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, and New York City. She finds evidence of more fake paintings, and buys some lovely clothes, meets some people she might hope to see again, and finds that she was right to trust her initial misgivings about these clients. I like Ava. She gets the job done, but on her own terms. She is proud of her skills, and will do what she can to get to the bottom of a puzzle.

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rossdietrich
Dec 06, 2012

This is the least interesting of Ian Hamilton's books. It didn't hold my interest as it just plodded along.

marcotte Nov 19, 2012

I enjoy Ian Hamiltons' books and will be reading them all as they come. This one could hardly be called a thriller. It had much less action than the first two. You got a lot, a real lot, of Ava's hotels, plane flights, restaurant meals and clothing. Still it was interesting.

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