Here are links and excerpts to reviews and press for HOUR OF THE RAT…
“A rocking sequel…. [Ellie McEnroe’s] motives, her dogged determination, and her burning sense of moral outrage will be familiar to anyone who’s ever read Chandler’s The Long Goodbye… Brackmann captures it all with an unflinching honesty and frank sense of moral unease that strips bare the romance myths of the ‘New China’—and of the old capitalism running amuck.”
—Mystery Scene Magazine Favorite Reads of 2013
From PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY:
Brackmann’s finely honed second thriller featuring Ellie McEnroe (after 2010’s Rock Paper Tiger)…Brackmann is as adept at bringing China’s densely populated cities and breathtaking landscapes to life as she is at depicting her flawed but appealing characters and twists and turns galore.
From LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS:
“If you’re shopping for someone who enjoyed Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander books and is looking for something new to read, pick up the two Ellie McEnroe mysteries by Lisa Brackmann, Rock Paper Tiger and Hour of the Rat…. the combination of a strong female protagonist, a Chinese setting, and engrossing mystery plots results in books that I think any grown-up fan of Nancy Drew would enjoy finding in her Christmas stocking.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books
From KIRKUS REVIEWS:
“Brackmann’s easy familiarity with everyday life in China lends a fascinating multiculturalism to her writing. Nods to local cuisine, Chinese slang and dress help paint a vivid picture of that country…. [Ellie] always entertains.”
From Cornelia Read:
“A totally genius novel: smart, funny, dark, hip… exquisite. She had me in a choke-hold of utter happy reading splendor from, literally, the first sentence, and never let up. Also, I think I could hang with Ellie McEnroe forever. Definitely the woman I want along on my next wild jaunt across Asia.”
—Cornelia Read, author of VALLEY OF ASHES (a Madeline Dare novel)
From Tim Hallinan
“A smart, jaw-droppingly good thriller, often hilarious, set in a revelatory depiction of modern China. Hour of the Rat should make Lisa Brackmann a star.”
—Timothy Hallinan, author of CRASHED (Junior Bender) and THE QUEEN OF PATPONG (Poke Rafferty)
From Library Journal:
VERDICT–Brackmann, author of the well-received Rock Paper Tiger and Getaway, has crafted another fresh crime novel for hard-core fans who like reads that are slightly off-kilter and don’t quite follow genre conventions.
…In the second of this series, Hour of the Rat showcases an insider’s view of China and works as a character study of a woman who is equally tough and vulnerable. China is a country of contrasts, with crowded metro areas and lush countryside; economic inequality and the world’s largest IKEA store.
Brackmann mixes acerbic humor with a serious look at a veteran’s recovery. (Ellie, who often punctuates her sentences with curse words, is still contending with a leg injury that occurred during combat, as well as with war flashbacks.) Brackmann delves deep into Ellie’s psyche, showing the myriad changes she undergoes in rebuilding herself physically and mentally. Ellie finds being a stranger in a strange land suits her emotional growth.
—Oline H. Cogdill