Wendy's Reviews > Flower Net

Flower Net by Lisa See
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's review
Nov 23, 2009

did not like it
bookshelves: unfinished
Read in November, 2009

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 departure in genre for Ms. See and I just felt that the whole novel fell flat. With the exception of possibly Hulan, the characters were not well-developed. In fact, I kept confusing some of them. I eventually stopped reading when I realized that I didn't really care what happened to any of them, nor did I care about who murdered the three victims.

The tension in the story never really developed and some of the situations were just not plausible. The opening pages of the book feature one such situation as a freighter, The Peony, with hundreds of Chinese immigrants is adrift off the California coast. The US Attorney, David Stark, suspects that the freighter is occupied by a Chinese mafia-type gang. He and a couple of FBI agents respond. What?? Where's the Coast Guard? Where's the rest of the law enforcement agents? They board the ship and discover that the crew has abandoned it since it's sinking and a storm is coming in. Stark and one agent are left on the ship along with all of the immigrants since the storm is moving in too fast for the Coast Guard to send any help. They do send instructions to try to keep the boat afloat and if they make it through the night, the Coast Guard will come the next day. This was my second What?? The Coast Guard would leave a bunch of malnourished and dehydrated immigrants, along with a US Attorney and an FBI agent, on board a doomed vessel?

Another implausible situation was when Stark went to China to investigate the murders with the cooperation of the Chinese investigator, Liu Hulan. Despite conducting an autopsy on the body found on board the Peony in a US forensics lab with specially trained personnel and an autopsy on the body found in China in s Chinese lab, no one knows what caused the deaths of the first 2 victims. Then Stark and Hulan visit a Chinese herbal doctor and he figures it out in about 2 minutes based on a description of the bodies.

Sadly, the rest of the novel continued in that vein and I just decided that I had had enough. If you are like me and did not like this book, I would encourage you to read Ms. See's other novels. They are wonderful.

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Reading Progress

01/01/2014 marked as: gave-up
01/01/2014 marked as: gave-up
01/01/2014 marked as: unfinished
06/21/2015 marked as: read

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