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Flower Net (Liu Hulan Series #1)

Flower Net (Liu Hulan Series #1)

4.0 72
by Lisa See

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“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,


“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 entombed in a frozen lake. Around the same time, aboard a ship adrift off the coast of Southern California, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Stark makes a startling discovery: the corpse of a Red Prince, a scion of China’s political elite.

The Chinese and American governments suspect that the deaths are connected and, in an unprecedented move, they join forces to see justice done. In Beijing, David teams up with the unorthodox police detective Liu Hulan. In an investigation that brings them to every corner of China and sparks an intense attraction between the two, David and Hulan discover a web linking human trafficking to the drug trade to governmental treachery–a web reaching from the Forbidden City to the heart of Los Angeles and, like the wide flower net used by Chinese fishermen, threatening to ensnare all within its reach.

“A graceful rendering of two different and complex cultures, within a highly intricate plot . . . The starkly beautiful landscapes of Beijing and its surrounding countryside are depicted with a lyrical precision.”
–Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Murder and intrigue splash across the canvas of modern Chinese life. . . . A vivid portrait of a vast Communist nation in the painful throes of a sea change.”

“Fascinating . . . that rare thriller that enlightens as well as it entertains.”
–San Diego Union-Tribune

A Finalist for the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Set in Beijing and billed as a "Gorky Park for our time," this first novel draws together a Chinese cop and an American D.A. intent on solving a string of murders. Expect lots of publicity for See's new work, following her evocative memoir, On Gold Mountain (LJ 8/95).
School Library Journal
The tranquil setting of a Chinese ice-skating pond is shattered when Wing Yun and his granddaughter discover the body of a young white man frozen in the ice. An ocean away, off the coast of Southern California, the body of a young Chinese man is found decomposing in the drinking water for a shipload of illegal immigrants. When it is found that both of the deceased have connections to a Chinese gang, the Rising Phoenix, Chinese Inspector Liu Hulan and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Stark are teamed to locate the killer. Liu and David, who had been linked romantically years before, realize their case is being run like the flower net used by Chinese fishermen who throw the mesh wide to trap everything within its reach. American and Chinese cultures are naturally juxtaposed as Liu and David move from one side of the Pacific to the other, offering a richness in background beyond the usual espionage tale. The writing is crisp and the story moves at a fast clip with flashbacks adding background fibers to the webbing. This top-quality novel will be enjoyed by teens who like romance, adventure, or just a great story.Pam Spencer, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
On a January morning in Beijing, a child skating on a frozen lake finds the corpse of a white man under the ice. Liu Hulan, a female detective, is assigned to head what will be a delicate investigation, for the murder victim is the son of the American Ambassador. Thousands of miles away, David Stark, an assistant U.S. attorney, boards the China Peony, a barely seaworthy freighter carrying hundreds of illegal immigrants to America. On board he finds the badly decomposed body of a "Red Prince", the son of one of China's top officials. The murders appear to be unconnected until rare plant fibers are found coating the respiratory tracts of both victims and the Chinese and Americans agree to work together. The Flower Net is a superbly crafted mystery and in this fulllength, thirteen hour, unabridged, audio cassette format with flawless production values and a wonderfully gifted narrator, offers the listener a true "theatre of the mind" experience.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Liu Hulan Series , #1
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB

What People are Saying About This

Sheryl WuDunn
Flower Net is a lively, exciting page-turner, full of creative twists and unexpected turns. It leads the reader into a mysterious Chinese alchemy that is strange and fresh and highly entertaining.

Meet the Author

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Dreams of Joy, Shanghai Girls, Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles.

Brief Biography

Los Angeles, California
Date of Birth:
February 18, 1955
Place of Birth:
Paris, France
B.A., Loyola Marymount University, 1979

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Flower Net (Liu Hulan Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
TeechTX More than 1 year ago
It is no surprise that Flower Net was singled out as a best first mystery novel -- it is a wonderful read for any mystery lover. I enjoyed it thoroughly and look forward to the rest of the series. Lisa See has created characters we can care about, placed them in fascinating circumstances, and brought it all to a resolution that leaves one wanting to know what happens to Liu Hulan next. Brew up a pot of tea and get ready to follow the twists and turns of Beijing's hutangs and L.A.'s back alleys!
RobynKelly More than 1 year ago
great story, well written, a view into asian culture
readsAlotNY More than 1 year ago
This book combines, romance, history, mystery and the exotic east. Lee is a good writer who has done extensive research to give us a book full of detail and interest. Sometimes the information seem like a list but most often I was intrigued by the characters as the romance developed and definitely captivated by the information on Chinese culture, government and everyday life. The juxtaposition between American every day life and the life of city and country Chinese is startling and eye opening. I had no idea the higher government officials had deteriorated into allowing their children to be princes and princesses of extreme wealth while regulating everyday Chinese to virtual poverty. The disclosure of the factory conditions is even more substandard than I had ever thought. Book two is even more revealing.
robinzhere More than 1 year ago
I have read Lisa See's "Flower and the Secret Fan" and "On Golden Mountain" and found this to be as enjoyable as those were. In this one, See stretches her writing wings into the crime thriller genre and she acquits herself admirably.    What elevated this from the basic thriller was the contrasts between the Chinese way of investigation and the American way. It was interesting to see the classic crime procedures turned to a different view in another culture. Culture is at the heart of this story, but the characters are well written. It was great to see what See had done with this genre.
MrsJason More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about loyalty, history, and courage. It's a great read, interlaced with the histories of China. It's a keeper!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was an excellent thriller. Never one dull moment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Author draws you in, keeps you intrigued throughout thevwhole book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ending is unsuspected/ great choice / oriental setting / can't wait to get the next book on this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
all 3 volumes of the series are terrific page-turners, especially if you're interested in modern China. I wish the author had continued the series, I don't care as much for her other novels.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
New noir trend in mystery combos would prove less depressing but however well written grafic violence has become a filler as do unpeasant people and situations without relief of humor or hope . When a writer portrays a country as one you wouldnt visit if they paid you no matter if the description of food sounds nice (dont mention if sanitary kitchen or used night soil as fertilizer for veggies) new noir is not for me or the author based on three books in series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every resault is a different place to explore!!! YOU GET TO MAKE THE MAP!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looking forward to reading more of her books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Somehow, I had not read a Lisa See book before randomly choosing this book. My loss. She is an excellent writer. This book was a combination of mystery, culture information, and personality explorations. Her descriptions of life in China as it changed over in the late 1900's is excellent. I lived in Asia and travelled to China 3 times around 2005. Her knowledge of life beneath the picture presented to visitors is so detailed. A great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bookmouseDH More than 1 year ago
Has a lot of action and twists and turns
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story occasionally made "jumps", but still a good story. I especially like the Chinese cultural twists, and historical references.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this first one. Hope the next is as good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good charecters,good plot.book clubs may enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago