The Princeling of Nanjing by Ian Hamilton
Ava and her two partners in the Three Sisters investment firm are in Shanghai for the launch of the new clothing line, Po. Xu is her guest during the wining and dining of prospective clients and their conversation turns to problems that he’s having with his business. The powerful Tsai family is trying to force him to go back into the drug business and Xu knows that if he does, it will mean disaster for him on many scales. Ava offers to look into the family’s business dealings in the hopes that she can find something that will allow Xu to fend them off.
What she finds is corruption on a massive scale. And this corruption doesn’t end with the Tsai family – it reaches beyond their province and into the UK and U.S. where powerful political personages are implicated.
At a few points in the novel Ava voices her concern that she’s brought too many people into the equation. As a reader, I found it hard to keep track of all the characters, even with the chart that Ava made outlining who’s who. I actually wanted to skip those sections where detailed descriptions of the relationshipsbetween certain characters were given, as I found them too confusing.
This novel didn’t generate the same level of excitement as Hamilton’s earlier novels, but it did leave me wanting more. And as always with his novels, it left me with a real hunger for Chinese food!