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Flower Net (Red Princess #1)

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3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  2,689 ratings  ·  353 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
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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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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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
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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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
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 mystery trilogy 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-C ...more
Leah
This is my second book by Lisa See, the first being Peony In Love which I very much enjoyed.[return][return]In this story the main characters, a Chinese female investigator with a mysterious past and an American male attorney, are brought together by their countries to solve two murders that have political ramifications in both nations. The most interesting thing about the mystery is the setting. See is very adept at relaying the customs of the legal system in China as well as deciphering the fo ...more
Jessica
3.5 stars

It never fails - reading Lisa See's books always make me hungry.

I went into this book knowing that it'd be different than the other Lisa See books I'd read, so that mindset helped a bit. I was used to her writing about China's history, to the descriptive narratives of the land, the people (and yes, the foods), and to the struggles of the women that she created. This book had a bit of all that throughout the story, but there was something a bit lacking, as well.

The thing was, I didn't r
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Endah
Di Negeri Cina ada sebuah legenda tentang seorang wanita pejuang yang gagah berani bernama Liu Hulan. Pada saat Cina berperang melawan pendudukan Jepang , gadis pemberani itu menjadi mata-mata.

Liu Hulan lahir dari keluarga petani miskin di desa Yunchouhsi di Provinsi Shansi. Mereka sekeluarga membanting tulang mengolah tanah dan ladang di bawah terik matahari setiap hari serta memintal benang membuat pakaian sendiri.

Suatu hari, Tentara Kuomintang - lawan politik Mao - sampai di desa Liu Hulan.
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Monica
This is the first book of the Red Princess series. I have read other books by Lisa See and loved most of them so far. This book isn't like the other books but I was expecting that anyways because it is a mystery. Unlike See's other novels this story didn't flow as nicely. Liu Hulan is a detective in China who is paired up with an attorney, David Stark from the United States. The US Ambassador's son is found dead in Beijing while the son of a powerful political figure of China is found dead on a ...more
Jessi
After reading two of Lisa See's more recent novels, I did not expect this type of book coming from her pen.

For one, it's set in modern China. I loved learning about what's it's really like to live in China. I obviously knew it was a communist country, but probably not unlike many people, I didn't fully understand what that meant. The government controls everything for everybody, where they live, work, whether they can have a baby or not. They also keep strict tabs on everyone. You get a note in
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Alan
This thriller, set in Beijing and Los Angeles in 1997, has some real strengths. Its insight into Chinese culture and the emergence of a Chinese nouveau riche class is both interesting and authoritative. The author speaks knowledgeably about the mysteries of gaining or losing face. Her evocation of Beijing at this point in its emergence from Maoism (the book takes place in 1997 just before the death of Deng Xiaping) is also fascinating. China has changed a great deal since then so this book is al ...more
Wendy
Unfortunately, I was very disappointed in this book. I made it halfway through before I returned it to the library and I only got that far because I forced myself to keep reading.

I have enjoyed Ms. See's other novels immensely. She writes beautifully about Asian culture and her stories always have strong, memorable characters and compelling plots. If this was the first novel of hers I read, I doubt I would read any of her other titles. Flower Net is supposed to be a thriller, which is a departur
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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...
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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