The Wild Beasts of Wuhan: An Ava Lee Novel
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"Formidable...Ava Lee is unbeatable at just about everything....She's perfect."―Toronto Star
Meet Ava Lee, alluring but deadly, with a mind like a steel trap, as she chases millions of dollars and dangerous criminals around the globe in this exotic and fast-paced new crime series by Ian Hamilton.
In The Wild Beasts of Wuhan, Wong Changxing, a rich Chinese powerbroker, has just been bilked out of $100 million in an elaborate art forgery con. His one hope of recovering the money, and of saving face, is Ava Lee―a forensic accountant with a talent for tracking down untraceable funds. With the help of her mentor, the Triad-connected Uncle, Ava traces the provenance of the meticulously forged paintings to Denmark, the Faroe Islands, New York, and London. As she infiltrates one of the most prestigious auction houses in the world, she uncovers a massive web of corruption, where high art and high-stakes fraud threaten more than just her client's business―this is one scam that could get her killed. Ava Lee is one of the most scintillating, unique heroines to come along in years.
It’s the oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere.” She turned to her husband. “Henry, when was it built?” “Sixteen something.” “In the sixteen hundreds. Crazy, huh?” “Sephardic Jews from Amsterdam,” Henry said. “They modelled it after the Esnoga Synagogue there.” “It’s not far from here,” Bella said. “Would you like to join us? It’ll be interesting.” Ava was in theory a Roman Catholic. She had been raised in the Church and her mother and sister were still devout. But
run-of-the-mill painter. More risk, less reward. So cash is always tight, and the value of the business — and our net worth — is hanging on the walls. We decided to cash in twice, put the money aside, and then get on with running the business as our father had done.” “Except Glen didn’t stop?” “No, he didn’t. But I did. I wasn’t proud of what we had done. I rationalized it, of course, but I was never proud, and I never — I swear to you — never even thought about doing it again.”
hot in New York. To her delight, the Steinums, if anything, seemed even more beautiful than when she had bought them. Mimi would look wonderful in hers. So would Maria: her light copper skin and wild mop of curly black hair went well with bright colours. She packed a fresh set of clothes: a midnight-blue shirt with an Italian collar she had bought during her previous trip to London, a white Brooks Brothers button-down shirt, a clean pair of black Brooks Brothers slacks, and a light tan
become a threat to their political and military allies, there was hardly anything they couldn’t do, and there was virtually no one who would risk raising a hand against them. It gave men such as Changxing an overblown sense of security, a sense of invulnerability to the vagaries of the outside world. It had taken an Englishman to prick the bubble he lived in, the bubble that Ava had been hired to patch. Now all she wanted to do was take that small tear and turn it into a gaping hole. She
Ava showered, put on a clean bra and panties, and then laid out her new clothes. It was her experience that most Chinese businessmen preferred the women they employed or did business with to dress conservatively. Ava chose the black cotton slacks and the more modest Cole Haan pumps, and offset the dark palette with her new pink Brooks Brothers shirt. It was bright but plainly cut and, buttoned close to the neck, it would look professional enough. Besides, given Uncle’s monochromatic look she felt