The Disciple of Las Vegas (2011) – Ian Hamilton


I’m so glad that when I bought the first Ava Lee novel, I had the next one on my bedside table ready to go, because as I mentioned in the previous post, I am reading these voraciously. I haven’t been devouring books this quickly since my introduction to the Expanse novels!

Picking up just a few short hours after the end of the previous novel, The Water Rat of Wanchai, and the seeds for it planted in the previous novel, Ava, forensic accountant and debt collector, is contacted by Uncle to take on a case from one of the richest men in the Philippines, Tommy Ordonez, a man used to get his own way, and prizes his wealth just a little more than his concept of face. It seems someone has stolen over $50 million from his company, and he wants it recovered.

Ava, though less than enchanted with the man, knows this will be a huge payday for her and uncle, and she believes she’s up to the challenge, following the money across the globe, from online poker  gambling servers on a First Nations island just outside Kingston, to Vancouver, Las Vegas, and England. The trail leads her unexpected places, and Hamilton keeps the story moving bullet-fast, not once letting up the chase. Ava continues to be smart, resourceful, and this time, when she needs some help, she gets it from some of Uncle’s men, who are more than proficient at their jobs.


But things aren’t only going to get rough and tumble on this case, it seems someone from a past case is seeking revenge, and Ava’s life is at risk as a pair of hit men are after her, and unless Uncle can find a way to cancel the contract, they may end up tracking her down before she has a chance to reclaim the funds for her client.

The story rockets along, there are still delightful overtones of Fleming in Hamilton’s descriptions, but the thing that is so amazing is that he crafts such an engrossing tale. Even before I was one hundred pages into this book, I made sure I had the next two ready to go, and am going out hunting for the rest in short order.

While it’s cool to hear locations mentioned that I know, in and around Toronto, and Kingston, and the rest of the world, it’s this amazing character Hamilton is created, that keeps me reading. The details, the cultures, the moments. There were literally a couple of ‘oh, shit’ moments for me, as well as some real shocks, in this book, and it was always a case of, just one more chapter, just one more chapter, just one more chapter before I went to bed each night.

If you haven’t heard of the series, for those of you who live outside Canada, I can’t recommend these books enough, and if you do live in Canada, pick it up and support some of our nation’s fantastic writers!

On to the next book now!!










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