Iraq vet Ellie Cooper is down and out in China, trying to lose herself in the alien worlds of performance artists and online gamers. When a chance encounter with a Muslim fugitive drops her down a rabbit hole of conspiracies, Ellie must decide who to trust among the artists, dealers, collectors and operatives claiming to be on her side in particular, a mysterious organization operating within a popular online game.
Let's consider the requirements for the heroine of a modern day thriller: a painful incident in her recent past, residence in an exotic locale, a heightened ability to talk trash, and a complete inability to recognize danger as she walks right into it. Ellie Cooper has them all... any reader who doesn't mind the language and some gritty violence would not only be entertained but enlightened about a country that looms so prevalently in our current world. (Reviewed by Judy Krueger).
The New York Times - Anderson Tepper
Lisa Brackmann's first novel gets off to a fast start and never lets up…Rock Paper Tiger isn't the most subtle or penetrating of mysteries, and I'm not even sure I got all the plot lines figured out. Or that I needed to. But if your interests range wide and far, from the Iraq war to online gaming and the globalization of China, this may be your book. Just be prepared for a wild ride.
The Boston Globe
Reading Rock Paper Tiger is a largely enjoyable breeze, but the book is ultimately unfulfilling, like the cliched restaurant meal that goes down easy but leaves one hungry an hour later.
A gritty and intriguing tale of terror that draws in the reader with each page; Brackmann is a new writer to watch.
Although the ending falls a bit flat, the tension up to that point is sustained superbly, and the characters are full-bodied and engaging.
Starred Review. 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.
Jeff Abbott, author of Fear
Lisa Brackmann's Rock Paper Tiger is a compelling debut that takes you deep into the dangerous, complicated heart of modern China, with a tough and appealing heroine in Ellie McEnroe.
T. Jefferson Parker Rock Paper Tiger" is a splendid debut novel by a gifted new writer. Her Chinese setting is exotic and chilling, and the characters live and breathe. The story is smart and fast as a sports car. Keep an eye on Brackmann.
Qiu Xiaolong, The Mao Case
A terrifying odyssey in present-day China, running through the political capital, Beijing; the coal mining capital, Taiyuan; the ancient capital, Xi'an; and the Three-Kingdoms capital, Chengdu; not to mention the capital of the post-modern Great Community, the computer game, with the protagonist pursued by the Chinese and American governments alike in a global panorama. A totally captivating page-turner with vivid, first-hand details and nuanced multi-cultural facets.
A Quick Tour of Chinese Cities Found in Rock Paper Tiger
Since the 2008 Olympics, China has become more of a tourist destination than ever. For those of us who haven't ventured that far, here is an overview of the cities where Ellie Cooper tried to elude her pursuers.
Also known as Peking, Beijing is the capital of The People's Republic of China as well as its political, educational and cultural center. Both names are the transliteration of the sound of the Mandarin name, meaning "northern capital," which sounds something like "pay-cheeng" or "bey-jing." As of February 2010, the combined population of permanent and non-permanent residents exceeds 22 million. Here Ellie lives on coffee, beer and dumplings, and gets abducted by Creepy John while at a party on the Simatia portion of the Great Wall, on the outskirts of urban Beijing.
A bestseller in China, recently short-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize, and a winner of Frances Prix Courrier International, Brothers is an epic and wildly unhinged black comedy of modern Chinese society running amok.
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