Hour of the Rat

Lisa Brackmann. Soho Crime, $25 (384p) ISBN 978-1-61695-234-1
Brackmann’s finely honed second thriller featuring Ellie McEnroe (after 2010’s Rock Paper Tiger) finds the Iraq war vet working in China as an art dealer for political fugitive Lao Zhang. The good news: Ellie loves living in Beijing, and her business is thriving. The bad news: her ne’er-do-well mother is staying with her, and fellow vet Doug “Dog” Turner’s brother, Jason, has gone missing somewhere in China. Ellie decides to ask around about Jason, but must tread carefully, as she’s still under surveillance by the Chinese secret police, who at one point haul her in “for tea.” After her release, Ellie travels into the countryside with her mother looking for Jason, an activist on the run from shadowy Chinese and American businessmen. Brackmann is as adept at bringing China’s densely populated cities and breathtaking landscapes to life as she is at depicting her flawed but appealing characters and twists and turns galore. Agent: Katherine Fausset, Curtis Brown. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/01/2013
Release date: 06/18/2013
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 226 pages - 978-1-61695-235-8
Paperback - 375 pages - 978-1-61695-371-3
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