Its been a while since I’ve dived into the Ava Lee series. I really love the whole Chinese-Canadian roots for this intelligent, brave and tough forensic accountant. I’m still thinking this series would be prime for TV but then, maybe not for various reasons that don’t bother me but might bother other viewers. Without being too offensive, if you’ve read it and know the character, you might know what I’m talking about.
I have reviewed all the previous books if you missed it. You can find it here:
Now, let’s check it out! 🙂
The Scottish Banker of Surabaya (Ava Lee#5)
By: Ian Hamilton
After the events of The Red Pole of Macau, Ava has slowed down to heal from all the physical damage (if not a little, her mindset about her business as well). That is until her mother introduces her to a woman in need who has a bunch of Vietnamese investors that fell for an investment scam and lost a lot of money. Being forced into taking the business, Ava flies to Vietnam and then Surabaya hoping to figure out and trace back the money. This leads her to a Scottish banker in Surabaya who runs Bank Linno who ends up having a rough clash with her and takes it to a more personal issue. While Ava has finally figured out where the money has gone, the situation gets more complicated when she realizes that its related to one of the biggest Italian mobs and their grand scheme of money laundering. Faced with difficult decisions and dangerous situations, Ava must try to make the best choice while things also get more personal as she realizes that there is something Uncle (her partner) is hiding from her about his health.
I love this Ava Lee series a lot. I stumbled on this book completely be accident and honestly, its one of the series that has a lot to love. The adventure and the wit in all the stories are great. The cases themselves are unique and feature a whole travelling adventure just to track it down with compelling characters each time. What the previous few books did lack was diving a little more into Ava’s personal life and her relationship with Uncle. We saw signs of her personal life being a part of the picture in the previous book and when things get more personal, the stakes get higher, making the story even more intriguing.
At this point, after 4 books, jumping into this one, Ava Lee is a character I know fairly well of. She’s connected with me and I look forward to what she’s up to. This time, Ava Lee is given a much more dangerous situation and she even gets into a few bad tangles herself. Those tangles are the turning point for her character and I think that is the game changer here. One that is tough to swallow but also one that shows us what Ava is capable of.
I still struggle a little to understand why branding is a such a huge thing in these books. I wonder if its to show the class that Ava is or the type of person she is or its just brands that stick out. I don’t think that talking about Adidas workout gear or Brooks Brothers shirts or Cartier watches are details that matter so much. They don’t quite bother me as much as it did in the earlier books but its still something I have a hard time wrapping my head around the reasoning of choosing that. It feels like meticulous unnecessary details. Still, thats not enough to pull away from just how awesome this novel is.
For a series to run for so long and after 4 books, still manage to drag me right into the story and craving for what will be next in the following novel. It definitely something that I never expected when I spontaneously picked up this book after the bookstore shelf. I love pleasant surprises and this fifth book is one that you don’t want to miss! 🙂
Have you read the Ava Lee series? What are your thoughts on it?