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The Red Pole of Macau (Ava Lee #4)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  997 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews

In Ian Hamilton's The Red Pole of Macau, family ties are stressed to the limit when intrepid forensic accountant Ava Lee must rescue her half brother, Michael, and his business partner, Simon, from a disastrous multimillion-dollar real-estate deal in Macau. When the developers turn out to be gangsters, Michael and Simon are threatened wi
Paperback, 1st, 336 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by House of Anansi (first published June 20th 2012)
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☘Misericordia☘  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Ahem, aaand Ms Lee's tendency to consume inordinate amounts of the Starbucks VIA instant coffee is starting to refreshingly decline as in this book she her usage of it is referenced only twice:
1/ So she made a Starbucks VIA instant coffee, read the South China Morning Post, and then headed downstairs to the business centre with her notebook.
2/ She opened a sachet of Starbucks VIA instant coffee and made her first cup of the morning.

Yeah, hidden ads. I know, I know. Harmless enough, though.
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Still recovering from all of her jet setting in the last book, Ava is compelled to travel to Hong Kong to help her half-brother, Michael, who is in serious trouble in connection with developing a mall in Macau for the Chinese. His local partners are demanding more money without having started construction. Michael's partners are ex-Triad businessmen, who are surprised by Ava's violent defense when things turn ugly. Michael's business partner is taken hostage, and Ava is forced to ask Uncle and a ...more
Fast-paced, almost more of an adventure thriller rather than one putting to use Ava Lee's skills as a forensic accountant, I consider this book to be a "bridging" attempt in the series. All of Ava Lee's friend's and family to date are part of this novel, and she is out to rescue her rather inept half brother Michael and his partner Simon from financial ruin, to save their father's involvement and the damage to the three Chinese wives and dependent children.

It isn't my favourite in the series, b
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys thrillers
I downloaded this ebook for free as part of Apple's 12 Days of Christmas free apps. This is the first ebook I've read on my iPhone and actually didn't mind it. I can see the appeal of ereaders!

I am not familiar with Ian Hamilton's Ava Lee series of books, but I would definitely read another one. I love that Ava Lee, the protagonist, is a strong young woman doing what most people are used to reading about men doing: helping the good guys. She figures out the problem and works with a network of s
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Is the mainstream mystery-reading public ready for a lesbian leading lady? I think so, especially when that lead is someone like Ava Lee, so controlled, fastidious, and (can I say?) moral in her professional work, she does not push her sexuality to the forefront. This book opens, however, “to the sensation of lips kissing her forehead. She opened her eyes to semi-darkness and saw her girlfriend, Maria, hovering over her, her face in shadow.” Ava understands that others might have reservations ab ...more
Rebecca Martin
I would give this one 3.5 stars if I could. I've read all of the books in the series that are available in the US at this point and I think this one's the best. What made this one more enjoyable than the others? The plot featured much less jetting around all over the globe and focused more on two locales: Hong Kong and, especially, Macau. I think it gave a good sense of how quickly Macau has gone from being an island with its own complex ethnic history and traditions and its own sordid past to a ...more
This was a wonderful escapist thrill read! I so enjoy the intelligent competent Ava Lee who gives an exciting twist to being a forensic accountant. Her job is to recover missing money and valuable possessions in touchy delicate situations often with unsavory persons. In this book, she takes on an assignment that is personal and while Ava is razor-sharp as always, she needs to delicately balance her family dynamics against what is necessary to save her half-brother’s business and his partners lif ...more
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, canadian
The Red Pole of Macau features forensic accountant Ava Lee who is a kickass heroine. Yes, I said accountant and kickass in the same sentence. In addition to a calculator, Ava possesses some scary martial arts skills. She is called to Hong Kong to help her half brother Michael who she has only met once. He and his business partner, Simon, bought into an investment in Macau with a property developer. A year later, nothing has happened with the property and the developer is demanding an additional ...more
Oct 13, 2015 added it
Shelves: book-club, 2016, canlit
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was the first time for me, when I read an entire ebook on my 4 inch iPod touch, and it wasn't a bad experience at all! I really enjoyed Ian Hamilton's writing. It was the first of Ava Lee series books that I've read, and it was full of thrill! I really liked how the author described various Macau and Hong Kong plots and how the story took place! It was a bit boring at start, but after that it was really thrilling and interesting! I finished it in one day, which was quite fast for me regarding ...more
Feb 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this cause I got it free from Apple and I left my books in Bac Lieu.

This is my first Ava Lee novel and while it was interesting enough, it seemed rather simplistic. There was no suspense and the action was short lived. Ava is supposedly an accountant but her skills there were barely used.

But, the characters were entertaining, albeit one dimensional.

Probably won't read the others unless I get them free.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This next book in my reading of the Ava Lee series departs a bit from previous tales because of the violence. I found the intrigue more captivating than some of the previous exploits. I was introduced to the Ava Lee series when I read one later in the series. I decided it was important to start from the beginning of the series. Since I had already read that later one, I was able to discern the relationship with May Wong and Amanda Lee that begins to form in this book. The books are page turners ...more
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disappointment. I needed an escape buzz read. This hardly qualifies. I did tear through it, but mostly in search of what I’d enjoyed in earlier books of the series.

Ava gets called to Hong Kong to chase down some money, but she only travels as far as Macau, again and again. And instead of having little victories along the way, this whole book is just one big lead up to storming a house to rescue a kidnap victim.

Make the next one better!
Margaret1358 Joyce
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
The Ava Lee series has a most intriguing 'profile'---a very smart forensic accountant, martial arts , fearless, feminine protagonist with friends and colleagues in seriously high places, a fascinating window into Chinese culture as it plays out in various locales--in this book, it's Macau, described by Ava, heroine, as a 'perverse Las Vegas' -- drool-inducing descriptions of Chinese cuisine, and, of course, fast-paced crime-busting. A great read!
J-l Hugs
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a really fun read. The author finally left out all the long boring descriptions of the herorine's clothing choices and showed us another side of her character. I can't wait to see what happens in Ava's next adventure.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
A fast paced story. Ava is a likeable heroine.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 *
James Sorensen
I won this book as part of the Goodreads First-Read program.

"The Red Pole of Macau" is the forth book in author Ian Hamilton's Ava Lee series. Ava Lee is a forensic accountant by trade, which allows her to use her knowledge to recover money that has been stolen or swindled from the clients she helps. The interesting thing about this book is that she doesn't use any of her professional knowledge in this book, so I'm not really sure how a forensic accountant is supposed to go about his/her busines
Toni Osborne
Nov 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Book 4, in the Ava Lee series

This series is a light read, mostly fast paced, quite entertaining and never fails to arouse my interest. Ava, the heroine is finely drawn and so different to the usual protagonist I simply cannot stay away and I am always looking forward to read all of her next challenges and see how she will tackle them. It has been entertaining so far….

The protagonist is a very kick butt and in charge type of character although she does show a vulnerable and soft side when it come
Tony Parsons
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ava Lee (forensic accountant) & her -brother Michael Lee would like to make a $150 million real estate deal in Macau. The developers Ma Shing Reality Corporation (David Chi, Wu, Kao Lok) are threatening to halt the construction of the Millennium Food Partnership (7-11 convenient stores & noodle shops) unless Michael Lee & Simon To his business partner put up front another $80 million. The meeting with everyone in hopes of coming to a mutual agreement did not go very well.

Michael &am
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Ava Lee series keeps getting better and better. I was blown away by this book, in which Ava is on a job that's personal, to help her half-brother. Even though she doesn't have to help, let alone go to the great lengths she does and place herself in so much danger, she does, and Hamilton makes it clear she wouldn't have it any other way. She's loyal, and she likes a challenge, though this one is a doozy. Her brother has gotten himself into a situation in Macau where he and his partner have su ...more
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Kevin by: Apple
This was an Apple freebie at Christmas time. I like free music. I don't mind wagering 3 minutes while I do something else, but I have previously shunned free books. Just to see, though, I had a quick look at the first page, and it swept me up.

The compelling writing continued throughout the book. It is part of a continuing series about a lesbian forensic accountant trained in martial arts, resident in Toronto, but with ties to Hong Kong, including possible ties to the Triads, and her own complex
Nov 10, 2014 rated it liked it
I read this book for my PhD graduate class, "Routes and Roots: Globalisation and Culture". It was a light, James Bond-esque novel about Ava Lee, a Canadian-Chinese forensic accountant - more like, martial artist accountant - who comes to her brother's aid when he and his business partner enter a bad business deal in Macau.

Given that I'm supposed to focus on globalisation, I found it incredibly hard to do so, as every mention of food side-tracked me! Every meeting Ava had with May Ling, Uncle, A
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful escapist thrill read! I so enjoy the intelligent competent Ava Lee who gives an exciting twist to being a forensic accountant. Her job is to recover missing money and valuable possessions in touchy delicate situations often with unsavory persons. In this book, she takes on an assignment that is personal and while Ava is razor-sharp as always, she needs to delicately balance her family dynamics against what is necessary to save her half-brother’s business and his partners lif ...more
Kim Lo
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If its even possible, Ava Lee in this 4th installment became even more likable. This time, the issue is with her half brother and his partner and the sneaky and ruthless triad members in Macau. Not travelling as much but rather just set between Hong Kong and Macau. The simple setting gave it a different feeling. At the same time, this time it wasn't an official case with her actual partnership like usual but this time it had a lot of more personal stakes. Carrying forward with some previous char ...more
This book seems to be leading toward a change in direction. Ava is taking more of a role in the organization of the entire process and Uncle is guiding her to being more independent and toward a possible new business partner?
It also starting filling in some details of the rest of her extended family, her eldest half brother and his fiance have large roles in this story and her father figures far more in this one than in any other.
While there is a less than usual amount of international traveli
Feb 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: asia, fiction-modern
- This is labeled on Goodreads as #4, but my copy said it was #3.

- It's a much stronger story than #2; from my perspective #2 functions more as a setup for #3 than as a story unto itself.

- I figured out what bothers me about the storytelling - the story in #3 was compelling enough so that I didn't want to put the book down, but the *tone* of the storytelling never changes. There's as much urgency in the climax as there is in the setup - which is to say, not much at all. I suppose that's because
May 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
The adventures of Ava Lee, a Chinese Canadian lesbian forensic accountant have been entertaining enough to keep me reading through the series, although the use of brands to describe the character is more grating than ever.
In the Red Pole of Macau, we meet Ava's less than savvy half-brother and learn much more about her partner Uncle's past and how these connections intersect and both ease and complicate her life.
Despite all this, Ava herself is still a cipher. Her motives for her decisions never
Apr 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I love the Ava Lee books, but by this fourth one, I was getting tired of the fact that all Lee does is make phone calls to make things happen. There wasn't that much action and not that much investigation in this book. I did like that we learned more about Lee's background and family circumstances. We also learned more about the strength of her bond with Uncle and how he thinks of her as more than an employee. I felt like we got to know more about her beyond her work, but the pacing in this was ...more
May 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Red Pole of Macau introduced me to a smart, feisty, resourceful female detective. (It is the first Ava Lee mystery I have read.) She is also an accountant. I was intrigued. The other aspect of the novel I liked was the Hong Kong/Macau setting where Ava has travelled to help her half brother and his partner with a business deal that has seriously (life-threateningly) gone bad. (Ava also has an interesting family.) What didn’t work so well for me was the plot which I found predictable. Also, I fou ...more
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Ian Hamilton has been a journalist, a senior executive with the federal government, a diplomat, and a businessman with international links. He has written for several magazines and newspapers in Canada and the U.S., including Maclean's, Boston Magazine, Saturday Night, Regina Leader Post, Calgary Albertan, and the Calgary Herald. His nonfiction book, The Children's Crusade, was a Canadian Book of ...more
More about Ian Hamilton

Other books in the series

Ava Lee (10 books)
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