Rock Paper Tiger

Lisa Brackmann, Author
Lisa Brackmann, Author . Soho $25 (345p) ISBN 978-1-56947-640-6
Reviewed on: 04/19/2010
Release date: 06/01/2010
Open Ebook - 194 pages - 978-1-56947-891-2
Paperback - 345 pages - 978-1-56947-951-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-57873-9
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Ellie Cooper, the heroine of Brackmann's electrifying debut, is an Iraq War vet trying to forget her past while bumming around the fringes of the Beijing art world. Having been ditched by her husband, Trey, a former army interrogator now working in China as a private security consultant, Ellie has drifted into a relationship with the artist Lao Zhang, as well as into a fog of Percocet and ennui in order to escape her memories of Iraq. After Zhang disappears with a mysterious Uighur, Ellie becomes a person of interest to U.S. and Chinese authorities, and soon Ellie's evading goons and cops, getting information from Zhang's friends via a massive multiplayer online game, and flashing back to her experiences as a combat medic at an Abu Ghraib–like detention center. The China scenes are fast paced and strikingly atmospheric, and Ellie's backstory—her and Trey's return from combat is tough, sad, and endearing—is given in doses that perfectly complement the central action. Given the high-octane leadup, the ending is a bit of a letdown, but the book's exotic setting and tough heroine will definitely appeal to fans of John Burdett and Stieg Larsson. (June)

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