DRAGON BONES

Lisa See, Author . Random $24.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-679-46320-7

The controversial construction of a massive dam on the Yangzi River is the backdrop for the latest adventures of Liu Hulan, inspector in the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing, and her husband, American lawyer David Stark, familiar to readers of Flower Net and The Interior. Many years in construction, the Three Gorges Dam will benefit millions of people, but it will also bury untold archeological wealth. At the start of this complex, atmospheric thriller, Hulan is emotionally estranged from David after their young daughter's death from meningitis, for which she blames herself. Officially, she is scrutinizing a reactionary cult, the All-Patriotic Society, when she is sent to investigate the murder by drowning of a young American archeologist, a man who may have stolen ancient artifacts from the dam site. David accompanies her and they begin to repair their relationship, but the body count mounts and the sinister All-Patriotic Society leader, Xiao Da, rallies his followers against the dam. The tension reaches the breaking point at an auction in Hong Kong at which the most precious artifacts are offered for sale; soon after, Hulan and David are fighting for their lives in dark, slimy-walled caves alongside the Yangzi. The melodramatic conclusion has none of the elegance of the prologue, which casually but exquisitely notes the progress of the archeologist's decaying body along the river, through narrows and bays beyond the magnificent gorges. But See succeeds in widening the reader's knowledge about the politics and culture of contemporary China while racing along with an absorbing story. Agent, Sandra Dijkstra. (May 27)

Reviewed on: 03/24/2003
Release date: 05/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-74981-9
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-345-44031-0
Compact Disc - 11 pages - 978-0-7531-2431-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7531-1875-7
Open Ebook - 242 pages - 978-1-58836-270-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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