The Nine Fold Heaven by Mingmei Yip

NINE
The Nine Fold Heaven by Mingmei Yip
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (302 pgs)
Heat Level: hot
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

In this mesmerizing new novel, Mingmei Yip draws readers deeper into the exotic world of 1930s Shanghai first explored in Skeleton Women, and into the lives of the unforgettable Camilla, Shadow, and Rainbow Chang.

When Shadow, a gifted, ambitious magician, competed with the beautiful Camilla for the affections of organized crime leader Master Lung, she almost lost everything. Hiding out in Hong Kong, performing in a run-down circus, Shadow has no idea that Camilla, too, is on the run with her lover, Jinying–Lung’s son.

Yet while Camilla and Shadow were once enemies, now their only hope of freedom lies in joining forces to eliminate the ruthless Big Brother Wang. Despite the danger, Shadow, Camilla, and Jinying return to Shanghai. Camilla also has her own secret agenda–she has heard a rumor that her son is alive. And in a city teeming with spies and rivals–including the vengeful Rainbow Chang–each battles for a future in a country on the verge of monumental change.

Camilla has run from the organized crime leaders she betrayed and is now safe in Hong Kong. She has enough money to survive and can continue hiding in peace. However, there is no peace for her when she knows she has left her husband behind and perhaps a baby. They told her it was stillborn, but the child comes to her in her dreams…

I read Skeleton Women by this author, which was the first half of Camilla’s story. I had been looking forward to seeing how she resolved all those open issues at the end of the first story. Ms. Yip did not disappoint me. Her words flow on the page like a river flows on its course. She uses her Asian knowledge to fill out the history of her story and it adds to the story content. The Chinese of the Triads are territorial, superstitious and totally ruthless. Their ultimate goal is to be in control of their territory and to kill anyone in their way. When Camilla set up a confrontation that ended up with one of the two Triad bosses being taken out of power, she left Shanghai. How was she to go back safely and get her family?

Camilla is an interesting character. She lost her parents when she was young, grew up in an orphanage and was trained to be a skeleton woman. That’s a beautiful woman that knows all the sexual tricks and can kill without a thought. That was how she lured the one man in and she slept with both him and his son. His son is her husband. She knows she may die by going back because the one who taught her all this is now the one in power. She believes in fate; if she dies, she dies. If she lives, it’s because she’s supposed to.

The author brings back her other old love in this book, also. He’s been a prisoner, but she helps him escape. I really like the depth Ms. Yip gives her main character. She’s loyal to those she loves, even when she’s conflicted over which one she loves the most. The author gives her hard decisions and somehow she makes the right ones.

There are magician tricks, the help of old friends and enemies, and Camilla’s bravery all involved in this story. I especially liked the ending. It’s the start of a new change for China as well as Camilla. This author made me feel like I was taking this journey myself. Camilla gets turned almost inside out as she learns the truth about things, but she persists and succeeds. Ms. Yip did an excellent job of writing this thriller and I’m going to add this book to my personal library. Why not get a copy?

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