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Flower Net (Red Princess #1)

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3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  3,021 ratings  ·  379 reviews
“Lisa See begins to do for Beijing what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did for turn-of-the-century London or Dashiell Hammett did for 1920s San Francisco: She discerns the hidden city lurking beneath the public facade.”
–The Washington Post Book World

In the depths of a Beijing winter, during the waning days of Deng Xiaoping’s reign, the U.S. ambassador’s son is found dead–his body
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ebook, 0 pages
Published December 31st 2007 by Random House (first published January 1st 1997)
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Ann
I have really enjoyed Lisa See's historical fiction and really, really, really wish she had stuck with that genre! This attempt at writing a mystery series is stilted at best. It started off in the usual mystery fashion - discovery of gruesome murders and setting up of the structure and characters who will solve them. But then she introduces the unlikely past (and soon to be current) romance between the two main characters, the tumbling procession of back-and-forth across the ocean events, the p ...more
Kavita
I dithered with the rating and the review of this book. I have read and loved Lisa See's historical fiction but this was a very different genre. Set in (almost) modern day USA and China, the book is a murder mystery with international political intrigue, with some smuggling thrown in for good measure. I don't really enjoy political fiction (with some rare exceptions) or murder mysteries that are about police and gangsters.

The beginning was rather slow and I almost gave up. The book starts off w
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Mary
Complex investigation by former lovers into Chinese Triad's smuggling of nuclear triggers, illegal immigrants, drugs and bear bile (!), taking place in LA, Beijing, Montana and the Chinese countryside is more complex than interesting, more fraught with melodrama than engaging. It's a disappointment after Dreams of Joy and Shanghai Sisters which were excellent, nuanced stories of the Chinese American experience, particularly for women, drawn from the author's own family.
I don't think I'll be tun
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Imas
Ini merupakan buku kedua Lisa See yg aku baca. Sudah labih dari 3 tahun mencari buku ini.Diawali dengan membeli malah buku keduanya, gara-gara diskon di toko buku Eureka Kalibata saat mengikuti diklat di Pusdiklat Kalibata cukup dengan 10 rebu saja, ada lebih 10 buku yg digasak saat itu, karena nafsu godaan diskon sampai-sampai tidak memperhatikan buku ini jilid ke 2..hehe..Tentu ada pertanyaan (enggaak..),ngapain lagi diklat kok malah belanja buku, dan jawabannya memanfaatkaan waktu istirohat s ...more
Dorrit
Definitely not one of Lisa See's best books. She should stick to the wonderful Chinese historical fiction she does so well. Flower Net is also set in China, but in almost-modern China (late 90s). The characters are flat and unbelievable and the story is stilted. Seriously, who is going to believe that an experienced attorney who has worked all over the world, who had planned to marry a Chinese woman and who has spent the last several years investigating Chinese mafia activity is really going to ...more
Donna
In FLOWER NET, Lisa See introduces a character, Liu Hulan, a Chinese investigator, who is brought in to solve the murder of an American ambassador's son. As the story unfolds, she travels to Los Angeles as another Chinese body is found murdered on a ship full of immigrants. This story goes back and fourth from China to America bringing with it an American FBI agent, David Stark. He and Hulan know each other before when she was in America at the same law firm where David also worked.

This story i
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Patty
I really liked this mystery thriller that takes place, mainly, in China. I couldn't give it 5 stars only beacause it wasn't "amazing" but I "really liked it!" I've never read anyting by Lisa See but I sure will now. Her knowledge of not just China but the people and culture as well, made this such an interesting read.

In alot of ways this novel is a typical mystery. Illegal ways of making money.... people get greedy....people die. The main characters work together to try to solve the problems. Bu
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htanzil
Lisa See, bagi pembaca cerita-cerita action-thriller nama Lisa See mungkin masih terasa asing. Padahal Lisa See, penulis wanita Amerika berdarah Cina ini termasuk novelis yang produktif. 5 buah buku telah ditulisnya, Liu Hulan : Jaring- Jaring Bunga adalah buku pertama dari tiga buku serial detektif Liu Hulan. (The Flower Net, The Interior, Dragon Bones) Novel terbarunya Snow Flower and The Secret Fan,2005 (akan diterbitkan oleh Qanita) yang mengisahkan persahabatan dua wanita Cina dan tradisi p ...more
Melinda
What a journey Lisa See made from this, her first novel, to one of her most recent books: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I was expecting Flower Net to be another exposition of the role of women as subjugated members of Chinese society/culture. Instead I found a historical narrative with a strong female detective in 1980s Communist China making a transition to a market economy. The book was difficult to put down----I found myself repeatedly saying "one more chapter". I really appreciate the rese ...more
Nicki

This book was a fast, easy, and mostly entertaining read. It does not hold a candle to See's other two novels that I have read - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love. That is understandable considering that this is her first novel.

After reading several of her books, I can safely say that Lisa See definitely does her research. Perhaps that's what I enjoy most about her novels; they are more than just good stories but they also impart some true to life elements and tidbits of cultural
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David
This 1997 story is "A Red Princess Mystery #1" involving an American Assistant U.S. Attorney named David Stark and a Chinese police detective named Liu Hulan. It is convoluted 100%, complex plus, and makes a good murder mystery come alive. What an intricate story, with fine use of Chinese cultural history and courteous social interactions.

Interesting "FLOWER NET" title - explained as a very old Chinese method of fishing in which a hand-woven net with weights on the edges is thrown to open like a
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anolinde
The romance between the two main characters was laughably bad, and the stiffness of the writing/dialogue in their interactions reminded me of Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity (not a flattering comparison, I can assure you). The rest of the story was interesting enough, but since I'm assuming the romance between Hulan and David will feature prominently in the next two books, I'm not inclined to finish the trilogy. Especially after passages like this:

They stood facing each other. He put his han
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Josianne Fitzgerald
I wanted to like this. Having left Tianjin after 13 years there as an expat, I enjoyed the moments when I could lose myself in the story and return to China in the pages of the book. The puzzle was okay and the love story was sweet but neither were very compelling to me. My main peeve with this book was the little inconsistencies with what I know Beijing and the Chinese to be. One example is the description of the Beijing airport as dingy and chaotic. The Beijing airport is beautiful, modern, sl ...more
Jen Adams
I think I read too many Lisa See books in a row to truly enjoy this novel. I read Shanghai Girls, then immediately following read its sequel, Dreams of Joy. Both of these novels were written in See's later years as an author, whereas Flower Net is one of her first, if not her first, novel. I think because I read her other books first, Flower Net REALLY reads like a first book, which isn't to say I didn't like it, but I tired of the same Chinese themes that appeared in both Shanghai Girls and Dre ...more
Lisa Ferrara
I hesitated between a 4 star or 5....so really a 4.5 for me! I truly enjoyed this mystery. I love Lisa See's style of writing..always have and this was no exception! Her stories set in China always intrigue me, and getting a glimpse of their political ways is an education. It kept my interest and I found myself thinking of the story when I wasn't reading it. Maybe I'm prejudiced to a strong female lead, as I enjoyed getting to know Liu Hulan.
Maylin
A very satisfying read and a glimpse into an almost alien culture. It was fascinating to read the reactions both of the US citizens in China and the Chinese ones in the USA. Where two such different cultures meet there is inevitably going to be the opportunity for exploitation and money making it can just take unusual forms.

I didn't know for instance that the street value of bear bile exceeds that of heroin and although illegal dealing it carries fairly minor penalties.

There were a few parts whe
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Linda
Flower Net

Combining the exotic world of China, the intrigue of illegal immigration and illegal shipments of contraband, Lisa See weaves an exciting mystery.
The story begins in China where a body is found in a frozen pond where the local people ice skate, here you meet the main heroine, a female MSP agent Li Hulin. The body is the son of th US ambassador in China
Then off the coast of California, the young State Attorney, David Stark, gets called to investigate a freighter floating, abandoned in
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Bonnie
It was a fun-ish, Gorky Park-ish, kind of read, but I'll take Lisa See's other books--in fact, I loved her other book, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, a type of historical fiction that I read a while back, but I don't think I'll look to read another one of the Red Princess series. Although I do see that #s 2 and 3 get more Goodreads stars than this one. I couldn't connect this author with this book as the same writer of the other that I read of hers that I enjoyed so much. Perhaps that's a talen ...more
Maltaise
Given that this is one of See's earlier books, I do not believe her writing style was developed. The book tells the story of a homicide investigation that crosses two continents. The only reason that I finished the book was because my book club was reading it.
This said, I love See's books.
Dyana
The son of an American ambassador to China is murdered and his body found frozen in a lake. On a ship full of illegal Chinese immigrants which has drifted near southern California shores due to a storm the body of a Red Prince, the son of a wealthy Chinese businessman, is found. The two young men has been murdered in a similar way. Both governments suspect the deaths are connected and team up two investigators, one from each country, to solve the murders. Assistant U.S. Attorney, David Stark, wh ...more
Mikaela Hammond
Posted originally on Cook and Books

I’ve read a Lisa See novel before, and I will say that Flower Net is much different than I had thought. I wanted to read this novel as a nice break from the unexpected, and being familiar with See’s work I thought this was the perfect opportunity. Flower Net is centered around a man named David, and a woman named Hulan investigating two murders based in China and the United States. The investigation conducted by David and Hulan reveals a broader story between
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Judy
"Flower Net" is written so beautifully that you find yourself wrapped up in the story from the start. The characters could all be shady or not. The relationships could be filled with sweet emotion or not. Lisa puts together a variety of characters who come together to solve a crime. From the shores of the U.S. to the little known world of China, how to solve a murder is put to the test. Relationships are put to the test. Families are put to the test.

You learn some history/tradition and beliefs.
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Jacqueline


I am amazed by the versatility of Lisa See. It seems like all she has to do is touch pen to paper and she begins to unravel a magnificent story.
(Obviously she spends a lot of time doing research to be able to write with such clarity and understanding of her characters and the places they inhabit.)
It doesn't matter if she is writing the story of her own family in On Gold Mountain, or the three books, that make up The Red Princess Trilogy, Flower Net, The Interior and Dragon Bones, or the histori
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Ryan Rauber
Good mystery/thriller revolving around the relations between China and the US. The US Amabassador to China's son is found murdered in China, while the son of a wealthy Chinese businessman is found dead aboard a ship bound for America with illegal Chinese immigrants. We soon learn these deaths are connected.

Pretty interesting plot, how it unravels came as a surprise to me. The two main characters, the investigator from Beijing and the ADA from Los Angeles, are probably the weakest part of the boo
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Bonnie
I'm giving this book fours stars because of all the information about China, both historically and current conditions. It's a more modern type of mystery/action book than I usually read, but it's hard to find such a good description of life in China. There are obvious criticisms the country, but they come about as part of the lives of the characters and there's no overt proselytizing about how great the US is.

The main characters are an Assistant DA from the US and an Inspector in the police forc
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Lynne
I've now read all three books in the Red Princess series (in reverse order). Unlike Lisa See's other books, which are historical fiction, these books are set in today's China and provide insight into how Chairman Mao and the leaders who followed him impacted their culture. They also provide insight into the significant challenges posed by the rampant corruption within the Chinese government and the exploitation of the populace by both domestic and foreign business interests.

On top of the histor
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Caroline
Maybe 2.5. I thought it was a relatively mediocre mystery novel. Some aspects were interesting, but mostly, I felt there were too many subplots and I mostly was left unsatisfied with the conclusion. I was also disappointed because I like Lisa See's other books so much, and I suppose I was expecting narratives more similar to those. Be aware of that if you are a fan of her other books like "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" or "Shanghai Girls," and are basing your decision to read it based on that ...more
Susan
A body is discovered frozen at the edge of a pond in Beijing, and Chinese police inspector Liu Hulan is assigned to investigate. Her former lover, U.S. attorney David Stark, is conveniently asked to assist on the case after he discovers a second body on a boat off the coast of Los Angeles. The plot becomes an intricate maze of tangled events and people both in the United States and in China.

I'd rate the plot only so-so. It was the characters and the relationship between them that kept me reading
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Claudia Sesto
"I draghi generano draghi, le fenici generano fenici e le talpe generano figli bravi a scavare buche."
Due ragazzi, uno di origine americana e uno di origine cinese, vengono ritrovati morti, uno in Cina e l'altro su una nave carica di immigrati illegali cinesi attraccata al porto di Los Angeles, Hulan Liu ed il procuratore David Stark sono chiamati ad investigare su questo caso che coinvolge due potenze politiche la Cina e gli Usa.
Una storia che non ci porterà solo a scoprire chi è il colpevole
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Jessica
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I think the key going into it is to not expect another sweeping historical drama of the kind that Lisa See has written more recently. Flower Net is most definitely a gripping whodunnit, set in modern (1990s) China. I love the rest of Lisa See's work, and the Red Princess mysteries are the only books of hers I have not read yet, so I decided to give them a go.

For lack of a better description, Flower Net is sort of Law-and-Order-meets-Communi
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Lisa See is a Chinese-American author. Her books include Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005), Dragon Bones, and On Gold Mountain. She was named the 2001 National Woman of the Year, by the Organization of Chinese American Women. She lives in Los Angeles.

More about Lisa See...

Other Books in the Series

Red Princess (3 books)
  • The Interior (Red Princess, #2)
  • Dragon Bones (Red Princess, #3)
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1) Dreams of Joy (Shanghai Girls #2) Peony in Love China Dolls

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