Ava Lee Series – previous book reviews
The Dragon Head of Hong Kong: An Ava Lee Prequel
(An Ava Lee Series #0.5)
Young Ava Lee is a forensic accounting who has just opened her own private firm. One of her clients, Hedrick Lo, has been swindled of more than a million dollars by a Chinese importer named Johnny Kung. Desperate, Lo persuades Ava to find and retrieve the monies owed. Ava goes to Hong Kong, where she plunges into the dangerous underground collection business and meets a man who will forever change her life . . . – Goodreads
It always seemed a possibility to go back to the beginning. As Ava Lee Series step into a new era for its series, it definitely is good to give a wave to the first phase (what I’d call it) and see how Ava Lee got started in this business with Chow Tung (aka Uncle). The Dragon Head of Hong Kong refers to Uncle and how they met through her first case doing forensic accounting and realizing that while she could hold herself in most scenarios. In some others, realistically, she still needed some support. While hesitant to deal with Chow Tung at the beginning, as you would with strangers, its about trust and connections in her business and how her business with Uncle starts as partners, based on mutual respect and business requirements.
In that sense, The Dragon Head of Hong Kong is done really well. We see a much more younger and perhaps, slightly more naive Ava Lee who goes into this tough but never quite seeing too far and taking a lot of it by chance. However, there’s still signs of her character having those traits that she still has in the current books but just less refined. Its still the tough Ava Lee at work. At the same time, this book is fairly short in comparison to the other books in the series and rightfully so, since the story isn’t too complex, at least much less complicated than the current ones and involving less people but gives a foundation of how everyone whether its family and business falls into place. Therefore, the book is fast-paced with a lot of action on the pages and still doesn’t forget a lot of the key characters in the main series that we’ve grown to expect and love.
Its a little backwards to do the prequel after the series turning point (or looking at the release date, right before the last book that leads there). However, it does work. The Dragon Head of Hong Kong shares not only a first look at Ava Lee and Chow Tung but also gives the basic landscape of how she came to those items that she holds preciously in her life and does a good job and giving those connecting points, giving the current series some more substance and meaning to little things that didn’t get explained (or if it was, never thoroughly). Prequels aren’t always necessary but in this case, it was a fun quick read and was appreciated (for me).