**spoiler alert** I loved this book. I love SJ Rozan, period, but I really adored this entry in the Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series.
It's a holocaust sto...more**spoiler alert** I loved this book. I love SJ Rozan, period, but I really adored this entry in the Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series.
It's a holocaust story set in modern day New York. Rozan clearly did her homework with this one, she speaks to the holocaust and the damage it did. But she adds a layer I'm not sure I'd ever heard of, the migration of Austrian Jews to Shanghai in the late 1930s.
Lydia has recently returned from a month-long trip to California to attend a cousin's wedding. Her mother has missed her so much Mrs. Chin is actually easy to get along with, much to Lydia's surprise.
Lydia hasn't spokent to Bill since she left and she's not sure she wants to speak to him again. Her former mentor, Joel Pilarsky calls Lydia in to help him with a case that touches both the Jewish and Chinese jeweler communities of New York.
Chaos ensues, Pilarsky is killed before he can tell Lydia why he called her to say something was fishy. Lydia feels obligated to find the person who killed Pilarsky since she didn't get there in time. As she works toward that end, she is thrown back into league with Bill thanks to her best friend Mary. Bill and Lydia make a great team and you know Lydia is relieved to have him there with and for her.
Rozan's tertieray characters, Rosalie Gilder and Chen Mei-Lin, were riveting. I ached for them as if I knew them. Rozan makes these characters so real that even Lydia wants to do something to save them some 80 years later. Obviously, with a gap of 80 years, neither of these women should be alive and yet the reader hopes right along with Lydia that she will encounter them somewhere along her search for the truth behind the mystery of the Shanghai Moon.
The Shanghai Moon is the jewel created by Rosalie and Chen Kai-rong as a symbol of the joining of their family lines when the marry. This piece of jewelry is what brings the horrors of the holocaust and China's role in the second world war to Lydia's attention.
The jewel is long believed lost, possibly stolen, possibly a myth, and the source of a long ago curse. Rosalie loses her life over it, her husband curses the jewel and it disappears. It is recovered before the book ends, but the person who has it is the last person you expect to show up with it. And the person who murdered Rosalie is right in front of Lydia almost from the beginning of this story. (less)
As much as I've come to adore these characters and this author, I didn't care for this book nearly as much as others. I've read maybe 5 of the others,...moreAs much as I've come to adore these characters and this author, I didn't care for this book nearly as much as others. I've read maybe 5 of the others, some earlier in the series and some later.
The anger between Bill and his brother-in-law verged on overkill. The "explanation" offered did nothing to make it less unbelievable.
Some of the plot lines were good and they were worked out to a logical conclusion. Others seemed to be tossed in for the sake of having something for the associated character to do.
This was a pretty good book as I recall. It's been sometime since I read it, but I remember it being a "Who are you really?" type of morality play. Yo...moreThis was a pretty good book as I recall. It's been sometime since I read it, but I remember it being a "Who are you really?" type of morality play. You think you wouldn't do anything for money, but maybe you would. You wouldn't turn your back on family, but maybe you have to. You're a decent person who watches the local news and you're stunned by the stupid crimes people commit for money. You'd never do that? Or would you? (less)