Let's consider some popular qualities of the modern-day thriller heroine: 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.
Sent into the Iraq War as a medic at the age of 19, where she lived through several highly traumatic incidents, she has washed up in China. Her post-traumatic stress disorder prevents her from doing much except drinking beer and hanging out with her friend Lao Zhang, occasionally showing up for her part-time job at a karaoke bar, and checking her email. As for talking trash and blithely putting herself in harm's way, she reminds me of Janet Evanovich's bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum. I hope that Lisa Brackmann wouldn't take that the wrong way; I happen to admire Stephanie Plum a great deal.
After Lao ...
I'm living in this dump in Haidian Qu, close to Wudaokou, on the twenty-first floor of a decaying high-rise. The grounds are bare; the trees have died; the rubber tiles on the walkways, in their garish pink and yellow, are cracked and curling. The lights have been out in the lobby since I moved in; they never finished the interior walls in the foyers outside the elevator, and the windows are boarded up, so every time I step outside the apartment door Im in a weird twilight world of bare cement and blue fluorescent light.... continued
From the author...
"Rock Paper Tiger is an example of my "magpie" method of plotting take a bunch of unrelated things swirling around in the ether and see if I can somehow make them go together. This is how I ended up with a novel involving the Chinese art scene, the War on Terror, fugitive Uighurs, online gaming and the Iraq ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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