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Trail of Blood: (Bill Smith/Lydia Chin) Paperback – 13 May 2010

3.5 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (13 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091936365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091936365
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 939,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Nobody nails New York like SJ Rozan. Finally, we get to discover American crime writing's best-kept secret. I've loved Lydia Chin and Bill Smith for years and I guarantee you will too." (Val McDermid)

"One of my favourite crime writers...S.J. Rozan can write sentences that make my jaw literally drop. She's as good a prose stylist as I've seen in a long, long time ...to read S.J. Rozan is to experience the kind of pure pleasure that only a master can deliver" (DENNIS LEHANE)

"Rozan paints with the full palette of the human heart, using a depth, detail, and nuance of character I haven't seen since Chandler" (ROBERT CRAIS)

"Two of my favourite characters in crime fiction, Bill Smith and Lydia Chin" (Linda Fairstein)

"Using letters and journal entries from the 1930s and 1940s, Rozan sets the stage for the modern quest for missing valuables stolen during the Holocaust. She also gives us a brilliant look into the culture of Chinese American families today and an exciting mystery. Readers who have waited patiently for this one will not be disappointed. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

Book Description

Harlen Coben meets Sue Grafton in this smart, savvy, intriguing detective series

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is part of a series of Lydia Chin/Bill Smith novels so there is a history between them that we do not discover in this book. It opens with the discovery that Lydia and Bill have not spoken to each other for months following a case that had gone badly wrong for Bill. Lydia is brought in to help her former mentor Joel Pilarsky on a case which requires her Chinese language skills.

In Shanghai, a box of jewelery has been discovered on the site of a former WW2 Internment Camp, the local official who was responsible for it has fled to New York with it and Lydia and Joel are hired to find the missing jewelery. When Joel is murdered in his office, Bill and Lydia are reunited to find his killer. They soon found out that it's not as simple as it seems; a fabled jewel "The Shanghai Moon" is believed to have been amongst the stolen jewelry - and it seems that someone will stop at nothing to get their hands on it.

This, for me, was a hugely enjoyable book. The use of letters, diary entries and old WW2 documents brought to life the characters from this time and I began to really care about what happened to them as much as the present day characters. The interplay between Bill and Lydia is perfect - not romantic (although it is suggested that they were once more than colleagues) and very believable. The humour and warmth in the writing and the plot twists kept me entertained to the very end.

A very enjoyable read and I will certainly be looking for more Lydia Chin and Bill Smith novels.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are so many detective novels around that an original hero/heroine is rare. So Linda Chin and her Chinese heritage provide some welcome variety, as does an original tale which switches between Shanghai and it's refugee Jewish community at the outbreak of WW2 and the present day. The research on this must have been a mammoth task, as Rozan conjures up an engrossing vision of those turbulent times, as well as New York's Chinatown.

Rozan handles the transitions effortlessly. I was particularly impressed by the use of letters as a plot device and Rozan is adroit at both the feelings and the atmosphere of the times as experienced by characters of widely diverging backgrounds. I was less impressed by the pace of the story, particularly early on, and a couple of unlikely coincidences which detracted from the book towards the end.

One other point, this is part of a series, and as a result there are several explainers from the earlier book(s?). These were particularly noticeable and intrusive early on, which may be another reason it took me a while to get into it.

Still, for originality, Rozan deserves praise and if you are a fan of the Genre, this is worth your attention.
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By O E J TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
S J Rozan is the pen name for Shira Judith Rosan. This novel is the ninth in her crime-mystery series built around New York private investigators Lydia Chin and Bill Smith, and it was published eight years after the previous one Winter and Night (aka Blood Ties).

Estranged for months from fellow P.I. Bill Smith, Chinese-American private investigator Lydia Chin is brought in by colleague and former mentor Joel Pilarsky to help with a case that crosses continents, cultures, and decades. In Shanghai, excavation has unearthed a cache of European jewellery dating back to World War II, when Shanghai was an open city providing safe haven for thousands of Jewish refugees. The jewellery, identifed as having belonged to one such refugee - Rosalie Gilder - was immediately stolen by a Chinese official who fled to New York City. Hired by a lawyer specializing in the recovery of Holocaust assets, Chin and Pilarsky are told to find any and all leads to the missing jewels. However, Lydia soon learns that there is much more to the story than they've been told: The Shanghai Moon, one of the world's most sought after missing jewels, reputed to be worth millions, is believed to have been part of the same stash. Before Lydia can act on this new information, Joel Pilarsky is murdered, Lydia is fired from the case, and Bill Smith finally reappears on the scene. Now Lydia and Bill must unravel the truth about the Shanghai Moon and the events that surrounded its disappearance sixty years ago during the chaos of war and revolution, if they are to stop more killings and uncover the truth of what is going on today.
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Format: Paperback
Trail of Blood has a strong historical component, with the present day story very much connected to family and wider political and social events in the past. It trundles along at a fairly quick pace, has good backstory, appealing characters, and interesting plot. That said, the story had a number of elements that I found detracted from my enjoyment. Sometimes the storytelling is a little too explicit, with some clear plot devices used to introduce certain pieces of information or push the story in a particular direction. There are a number of somewhat implausible coincidences and conveniences in terms of people being in the same places at the same time or having access to certain knowledges or information that are very difficult to locate and highly specialised. The dialogue was a little clunky at times and did not always have an authentic ring. And for me, the book was at least fifty pages too long. It is published as The Shanghai Moon in the US, which is actually a much better and more appropriate title than the rather generic, Trail of Blood. Overall, a fairly entertaining read, but could have been much more given the strength of the conceptual idea underpinning it.
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