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Flower Net (Red Princess #1)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  3,856 Ratings  ·  452 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
ebook, 0 pages
Published December 31st 2007 by Random House (first published January 1st 1997)
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Dec 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, china, thriller
I dithered with the rating and the review of this book. I have read and loved Lisa See's historical fiction but this was a very different genre. Set in (almost) modern day USA and China, the book is a murder mystery with international political intrigue, with some smuggling thrown in for good measure. I don't really enjoy political fiction (with some rare exceptions) or murder mysteries that are about police and gangsters.

The beginning was rather slow and I almost gave up. The book starts off w
Oct 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, china
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
Kim Kaso
I liked her other books, but this book was a big "meh". A letdown...thought her subject matter would be a winner, but the plotting and characters were very average in an already crowded field. 2.5 stars rounded to 3.
Zoe Golden

Rating 4. Contains possible spoilers.

This is one of those books that I tell myself I'm not going to like but I end up doing so anyway. This is due to Liu Hulan, the main character.

She is a wonderfully complex character, drawn between loyalty to family and tradition, her own personal impulses and the duty as a law enforcer. The perfect amount of stoic and empathetic.
David didn't grow on me as much as Hulan did, but I did sort of empathize with his role as the morally torn defense lawyer still ho
May 30, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, china
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
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
Stef Rozitis
Sep 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-women-2016
This was a disappointing read. I do love that it was book-ended by Hulan rather than the really irritating and passively arrogant David Stark. The romance of the two (if you can call it that when it has elements of abuse in it) gets in the way of what in some ways is a good story-puzzle. I predicted the twists but I have been reading crime fiction for years and I think in some ways they were well structured. What I didn't enjoy was the descriptions of various gruesome crime scenes (luckily these ...more
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
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readin12, on-ipad
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
Aug 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 28, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009

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
Lisa Ferrara
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hesitated between a 4 star or 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.
Birgitte Bach
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Jeg er meget skuffet over denne krimi, fra en forfatter hvis bøger jeg ellers elsker at læse. Plottet var kedeligt og sproget kluntet og fladt. Jeg håber det med sproget måske kan bunde i en dårlig dansk oversættelse og at det bliver bedre når jeg fortsætter trilogien på engelsk.
Jan 04, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, audio
I listened to this during my daily commute so will not be rating it - I get too distracted. I did enjoy it, although it was completely different than any of the other books I have read by Lisa See.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Beijing’s Bei Hai Park, a frozen lake yields the body of a young man who turns out to be the American ambassador’s son. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) sends Inspector Liu Hulan to deal with the crime and almost immediately (and inevitably) her efforts are complicated by political considerations.

Off the coast of California on a ship crammed full of illegal immigrants, U.S. Attorney David Stark finds the corpse of the son of the sixth richest man in China. When clues surface to link the
Barbara Loggia
A good espionage/murder mystery linking America and China through the love affair of an American Attorney and a Chinese cop. Two high profile families experience the brutal murders of their sons but neither seem determined to have the crimes solved. As they travel between Beijing and San Francisco, the crime fighters learn how the two sons, their families, and their secrets are tied together and we get an education on the market for Chinese animal medicines.
Florence Primrose
A Chinese cop, Liu, and friend, American attorney, Stark, are thrown back together twelve years after they parted in L.A. as they work to solve the deadly conspiracy of Chinese gangs coupled with foreign involvement.

The American and Chinese governments suspect the deaths of the American ambassador's son and the son of a Chinese prince are connected but the Investigations by Liu and Stark help solve the mystery.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read another Lisa See after reading The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. This one is totally different. This is a murder mystery that I could easily see as a prime time movie. While I enjoyed the international political scene, some of it was a little tedious. There's romance - which was a little too predictable. All in all, the murder mystery was interesting and I was surprised at the end. Enjoyable, if that's the right word for disgusting dead bodies and political intrigue.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysterysuspense, own, 2017
Just fabulous! All of Ms See's works are masterfully written, yet this didn't "feel" like one of her novels. Perhaps it's due to the difference in genre, but I greatly enjoyed it and I look forward to the other books in the trilogy. The mystery was expertly plotted and executed - it has lots of twists and turns and plausible, satisfying solutions.
Patricia Rohrer-walsh
I enjoyed reading about the customs and history of China, especially about Chinese medicine. The romance was convincing enough, but I didn't find myself invested in it probably because I didn't gravitate toward either protagonist. My main disappointment was that the intrigue did not intrigue me for 2 reasons: not a big crime/detective novel fan & too convoluted
Heinz Park
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first book by Lisa See and a good story and the Detectives souled the case murder but the Chinese sure are very cruel to each other as life means nothing to them. Glad I didn't live in china during the time period this story took place.
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Ripping good mystery, with Chinese culture thrown in.
Judy Alexander
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Learned more about China. We should all be happy in America not to live there. Looking forward to reading second in series.
This book was ok but I didn't like it nearly as much as her other series. I read it last year and did not find the characters compelling enough to want to read others in the series.
Ruthann Sanfrey
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable book.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked my first foray into the series. Excitingly pleasant episode, well plotted and narrated and recommended.
Hayley Dunning
Entertaining, but excessive twists and turns.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Red Princess (3 books)
  • The Interior (Red Princess, #2)
  • Dragon Bones (Red Princess, #3)

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