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Second Sister

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Chan Ho-Kei’s The Borrowed was one of the most acclaimed international crime novels of recent years, a vivid and compelling tale of power, corruption, and the law spanning five decades of the history of Hong Kong. Now he delivers Second Sister, an up-to-the-minute tale of a Darwinian digital city where everyone from tech entrepreneurs to teenagers is struggling for the ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Grove Press, Black Cat (first published July 31st 2017)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  84 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Jessica Woodbury
I really enjoyed THE BORROWED but didn't like this one quite as much. Still, it has a solid hook and for readers who enjoy twisty, intricate mysteries.

SECOND SISTER centers on N, who is a Sherlock-ian character, if Sherlock was a hacker. I haven't seen many mysteries that use technology as well as this one does. With that said, the biggest weakness of the book is how much time is spent explaining things to us. Our protagonist, Nga-Yee, has hired N to find who drove her sister to suicide. An
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, e-books
Ambientazione interessante, ma sebbene mi renda conto della necessità di fornire informazioni su tecnologia, privacy, mercati digitali ho trovato le pagine e pagine che si accumulavano francamente eccessive.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Impressive background information on internet, hacking, privacy.
I really, really enjoyed reading this book. Usually, I like my thrillers to be suspenseful and action-packed, but sometimes it's nice to read one that is slow-building, intricate and so very introspective.

At first, Second Sister seems like a pretty straightforward story. A woman returns home only to find out that her teenage sister has died by suicide. She seeks the help of an eccentric, seemingly sociopathic skilled detective (think Sherlock Holmes in BBC's Sherlock) to find out the person that
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was my first time getting to know Asian crime fiction, so I really had to get used to the somewhat messy looking style of this book for a while. On the other hand, I enjoyed books with a more chaotic plot or seemingly without a plot at all, so when I got into this book and realized it is the way it is, and it is meant to be this choppy, I soon was hooked.

I loved the emotional depth of 'Second Sister'. It was easy to let myself be taken in by the waves, to be angry together with Nga-Yee, and
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Chan Ho-Kei’s astonishingly good Second Sister (fluidly translated by Jeremy Tiang) breaks a lot of rules. It doesn’t always play fair with the reader because the detective not only reluctantly explains things to the narrator, he always leaves things out. There are places where the plot bogs down in tech-y conversations that reminded me of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy. But there are so many good and great things about this novel that I forgave all of its problems. I have never read a ...more
Eseink Kuo
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing

When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .

Chan Ho-Kei’sThe Borrowed was one of the most acclaimed international crime
Madhuri Palaji
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Second Sister originally written by Chan Ho-Kei and translated to English by Jeremy Tiang is a crime novel set in Hong Kong. The story is very compelling. The author has intelligently put various lifestyles, working conditions, family lives, digital world, crime, corruption, everything into this story which will make the reader pause for a bit.

Nga-Yee is a hardworking young woman trying to provide food, shelter and education for her fifteen year old sister, Siu-Man. The sudden death of Siu-Man
Julie G
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Are you brave enough to die?" - Siu Man's killer

The premise for this book follows the oldest daughter in a family of two, Nga-Yee, who loses her younger sister to suicide. The problem is Nga-Yee doesn't believe her sister would do such a thing and as the story progresses, she begins her own investigation into the darkness behind her sister's death and to the possibility that someone had purposefully targeted her sister. Bigger questions arise, such as why was her sister being targetted and
Eloise Robbertze
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: techno-thriller
Second Sister by Chan Ho-Kei is a fascinating crime-thriller novel in so many respects. The cultural descriptions of Hong Kong and its digitized population creates an almost dystopian ambiance.

It covers themes ranging from crime and punishment (what is suitable and who should determine who’s guilty?) to internet piracy and privacy (are we all journalists now that we can post what we want, went we want, no matter the truth or fake news?) to pedophiles and their victims.

Online bullying, trolls,
this was brilliant! I want to read more by this author.

VERDICT: If you are looking for something different, geeky, suspenseful, and smart, don’t wait, read Second Sister now.

Chan Ho-Kei is a renowned Chinese author of thrillers. He’s famous for The Borrowed, which I haven’t read yet. So I seized the opportunity to read his upcoming Second Sister. It will certainly not be the last book by him I read. Read further to know why.

Nga-Yee’s parents have died. So she’s in charge of her sister Siu-Man,
Kevin Carter
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a ride! Second Sister is a twisty-turny ride through the world of cyberbullying, teen mean girls, hackers, grief and revenge. I was on the edge of my seat throughout while simultaneously getting an education in hacking and how really no one is safe/secure on their devices: if someone wants to get all your information and mess with you, they can. The characters are fully-realized and full of surprises. My only criticism is that the translation feels a bit clunky at times; I'm sure it flowed ...more
Yu Jie
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea Kelly
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found this book very repetitive. With Nga-Yee constantly questioning N and everything he was doing, along with his constant insults to her; I found myself able to skip ahead and miss nothing. The book had a good premise. I just didn't care for the characters.
Joseph Chung
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

If you like dark and twisty, this is for you. This complex cat and mouse mystery explores grief, revenge, bullying and the power (and abuse) of the internet. I audibly gasped at least twice and be prepared to stay up late to finish this deceptive page turner.

I received an arc from the publisher but all opinions are my own.

ETA: March 2020 staff pick
Hailong Hao
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Dominic Chan
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宸源 郭
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Sep 18, 2017
ククル 井上
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Apr 28, 2019
Esther Lin
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Feb 06, 2020
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Nov 26, 2019
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Chan Ho-Kei 陳浩基 was born and raised in Hong Kong. He has worked as software engineer, scriptwriter, game designer and editor of comic magazines. His writing career started in 2008 at the age of thirty-three, with the short story ‘The Case of Jack and the Beanstalk,’ which was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of Taiwan Award. He went on to win the award again the following year with ‘The Locked ...more
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