The Water Rat of Wanchai

The book that launched the acclaimed Ava Lee crime series by Ian Hamilton.

Ian Hamilton

Ava Lee is a young Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant who works for an elderly Hong Kong–based "Uncle," who may or may not have ties to the Triads. At 115 lbs., she hardly seems a threat. But her razorsharp intellect and resourcefulness allows her to succeed where traditional methods have failed.

In The Water Rat of Wanchai, Ava travels across continents to track $5 million owed by a seafood company. But it's in Guyana where she meets her match: Captain Robbins, a huge hulk of a man and godfather-like figure who controls the police, politicians and criminals alike. In exchange for his help, he decides he wants a piece of Ava's $5 million action and will do whatever it takes to get his fair share... (From House of Anansi)

The Water Rat of Wanchai won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel.

Excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

When the phone rang, Ava woke with a start. She looked at the bedside clock. It was just past 3 a.m. "Shit," she said softly. She checked the incoming number. It was blocked. Hong Kong? Shenzhen? Shanghai? Or maybe even Manila or Jakarta, where the Chinese hid behind local names and were often all the more Chinese because of it. Wherever the call originated, Ava was sure it was somewhere in Asia, the caller ignorant about the time difference or just too desperate to care.

From The Water Rat of Wanchai by Ian Hamilton ©2011. Published by House of Anansi.

Author interviews

We start the show off with the prolific writer Ian Hamilton and his popular Ava Lee series and his latest release "The Couturier of Milan." 16:33