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Thursday, 28 July 2011

‘The Deadly Touch of the Tigress’ by Ian Hamilton

Published by Sphere, 6 October 2011. ISBN: 978-1-84744-503-2

Wow! I have been reviewing for fifteen years and I have never started a review with, Wow! This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

Ava Lee is a forensic accountant - she tracks money owed to people who have advanced money in good faith, but then found that the recipients have reneged on their commitments.

Asked by her elderly Hong Kong based ‘Uncle’ to locate money that should have been paid to Andrew Tan, Ava sets out to track the money and return it to its rightful owner.  But, although she quickly successfully tracks the money, retrieving it is a different matter. Her quest takes her to Guyana, and it’s not a place I would ever want to visit, and if you read this book you won’t want to visit it either. But with some fancy footwork Ava sets up deal, but she is dealing with rogues and very influential rogues at that. Can Ava pull it off?

I was fascinated about the form of martial arts she practised bal mei, not that I was familiar with this form of martial art but interested because it is said to be Taoist, which is close to my heart. It is I think, having done a little Internet research a coincidence that the author Ian Hamilton should have a protagonist who practises a Taoist martial art, that instantly brings to mind J D Salinger’s ‘Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters’ which features on it’s first page a Taoist tale, and that Ian Hamilton wrote a book entitled ‘In Search of J D Salinger’ this is I assume one of those bizarre coincidences.

For whatever reason you pick up this book, don’t put it down unless it is safely in your tote bag and you are taking it home. It is a not to be missed read. I just can’t wait for the next one.
Lizzie Hayes

It was a life-threatening health scare that prompted Ian Hamilton to write his first in the series of captivating Ava Lee novels. Just two days out of hospital and recovering from surgery, Ian sat down at his computer. The name ‘Ava Lee’ came to him and the first chapter was quickly written. A few short weeks later, the first Ava Lee novel was completed. Ian is not a stranger to the literary world. He began his career as a journalist and wrote a non-fiction book in 1968, The Children’s Crusade, which was a Canadian Book-of-the-Month selection. He has written for several magazines and newspapers in Canada and the U.S., including Maclean’s, Boston Magazine, Saturday Night, the Regina Leader-Post, the Calgary Albertan, and the Calgary Herald. He has been a senior executive with the federal government, and as worked internationally as a diplomat and businessman. Although there are 40 years between books, Ian never lost his passion for writing. The years he spent travelling the world on business, spending countless hours on planes and hotels, became important influences on his writing, providing personal insights into the world of business and into the many people, places and cultures Ava Lee encounters. His inspiration for the Ava Lee series did not end when the first book was complete. About half way through writing the first book, an idea for the second book came to Ian and he built it into the plot of the first. He began writing the second book the day after the first book was finished. The same is true for the third and fourth books. Within eight months, all four books were complete. Ian secured a four-book deal from his publisher before the last two books were even read by the publisher. International rights have been sold into the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Germany and worldwide Spanish and French rights. Ian is currently working on the continuation of the Ava Lee series and has already completed books 5 and 6.
Ian lives in Burlington, Ontario with his wife Lorraine. He has four children and seven grandchildren.

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