About the Book
WINNER OF THE 2016 INTERNATIONAL PROVERSE PRIZE
Genre: Crime / Mystery / Drama
Publisher: Unbound Digital
Chicago 1980. Li-an Donohue's luck changes the instant she meets a mysterious Italian businessman, he offers her a job in Macau on the spot. From a drab Chicago winter to swimming pools, Semillon Blanc and lobster. It seems perfect. But easy livin' is harder than she thought. She's homesick. And beginning to think it might not be all it seems.
Until she meets slick New Yorker DJ, Ben. He is the ring-a-ding, the daddy cool of the club scene who shares her passion for – her obsession with – music. An island in China isn’t fun when you’re desperate to cut a recording deal, make it big in disco, he says. Ben has a secret plan.
But it sure doesn’t sound like music to Li-an’s ears …
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this before, it struck me as quite unique while reading it. At the beginning, I was drawn into learning about Li-an’s life; how she explored new places and learnt to adapt to different cultures. Her wit and gritty edge were charming but real at the same time.
Without giving any spoilers, when the plot became more intense and the crime / mystery elements were developing, I was then gripped to discover how things would play out and it was so interesting to be along for ride.
Being a big music fan as well as an 80s baby myself, I loved the nostalgic feel to the narrative, and how Li-an channelled everything into her passion for music. This was what caught my attention right from the first glance at the synopsis, and I was so pleased to read the plethora of references to not only beloved vinyl and musicians but also the pop culture nods that had such an impact on Li-an. Ivy Ngeow being a multi-talented musician herself, this felt authentic and it was woven wonderfully throughout.
I've mentioned at the start that I've not read anything quite like that before, and by that I mean that it encompasses so many genres and elements into one short, sharp story - the crime thriller, romance, the almost memoir feel to the prose at times. This is a novel to read if you love music, travel, crime novels or even nostalgic mobster movies - Ivy manages to stylishly incorporate all of them into this quirky, edgy book.
Thanks to Ivy Ngeow, Anne Cater and Unbound for sending me a copy of this novel for an honest review and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.