Reflecting the Sky: A Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novel (Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novels)

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9780312981341: Reflecting the Sky: A Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novel (Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novels)

S. J. Rozan is widely regarded as one of the finest crime writers to emerge in the past decade. Praised by critics and colleagues alike, her works have been finalists for most of the major awards and have won both the Shamus and the Anthony Awards for Best Novel. Now, with Reflecting the Sky, she has written her finest, most broad-ranging novel to date.

Lydia Chin, a Chinese-American private investigator in her late twenties, is hired by Grandfather Gao, one of the most respected figures in New York City's Chinatown, for what appears to be a simple task. Lydia, along with her professional partner Bill Smith, is to fly to Hong Kong to deliver a family heirloom to the young grandson of a recently deceased colleague of Grandfather Gao. They arrive in Hong Kong safely but before they can deliver the heirloom, the grandson is kidnapped and two, separate ransom demands are made. While the family of the kidnapped boy tries to freeze them out, Lydia and Bill must quickly learn their way around a place where the rules are different, the stakes are high, and the cost of failure is too dire to imagine.  Reflecting the Sky is a 2002 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel.

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Review:

S.J. Rozan's reputation grows with every new installment in her lively series starring the redoubtable Lydia Chin, a twentysomething New York PI and her partner Bill Smith. Here Lydia's venerable family friend Grandfather Gao dispatches the twosome to Hong Kong to deliver a jade amulet to the grandson of Wei Yao-Shi, whose American family knew nothing of the son and heir he left in Asia. A simple assignment quickly turns into a kidnapping, as Chin and Smith make their way through the complex world of triad politics, Asian intrigue, and the smuggling of Chinese antiquities. Along the way, Rozan treats us to an insider's view of Hong Kong; if someone you know is headed in that direction, this would be a great guidebook as well as a diverting plane read.

The relationship between the two protagonists has a nice subtext; there's sufficient sexual tension to spice up the narrative, but not enough to slow down the action. Rozan excels at pacing, and her characters are complex enough to linger in the reader's mind after the last page is turned. This is a standout performance from a writer who ought to break out in the bestseller ranks with this eighth in a series that keeps getting better. --Jane Adams

About the Author:

S.J. Rozan is the author of six previous novels featuring Bill Smith and Lydia Chin. She has won both the Anthony Award for Best Novel and the Shamus Award for Best Novel (the only other woman besides Sue Grafton to win the Shamus), and has been nominated for the Edgar Award. An architect, she was born, raised, and lives in New York City.

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Rozan, S. J.
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