A strong heroine is challenged to discover the details of an intercontinental art scheme.
Although Hamilton’s star, Ava Lee (The Disciple of Las Vegas, 2013), is technically a forensic accountant, she’s more badass private investigator than desk jockey. An urgent call sends Ava and her esteemed partner, Uncle, to Wuhan, China, to meet with wealthy power broker Wong Changxing, who’s convinced he’s been bilked out of millions in a faux Fauvist art scheme. Although Ava and Uncle are reluctant to take the case, Wong’s second wife, May Ling, presses her to investigate. Agreeing, Ava quickly follows a money trail through Denmark, the Faroe Islands, New York, London and beyond, laboring at every stage to grasp the implications of the complex financial transactions involved. Although her hotels change nightly, the frenetic pace of Ava’s investigation, fueled by an apparently bottomless expense account, is constant. When the truth finally comes out, what restitution means is different for all characters involved, and it’s not clear who will be responsible for meting out justice. Meanwhile, Maria, Ava’s sort-of girlfriend back home in Toronto, is growing increasingly concerned at what Ava’s absence and spotty communication might mean for their future.
The fast pace and powerful protagonist add thrills to what might otherwise seem a low-stakes story—though the rampant product placement and morally questionable wrap-up will make this second installment in the series the last for some readers.