Thursday, August 13, 2015

Chinaman's Chance by Ross Thomas

I finished reading Chinaman's Chance by Ross Thomas. I bought the book after hearing Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald mention the book on their Grantland Hollywood Prospectus Podcast. They were previewing the second season of True Detective.

Set in Southern California, the plot of the book includes the fiction town of Pelican Bay which has some similarities to the True Detective Season 2 town of Vinci. Like True Detective season two, the book also includes the murder of a politician. One side note, Sharon and I stopped watching the second season of True Detective after episode three. I am not sure that we will ever pick it back up and finish the last five episodes.

I don't know where to start to talk about Chinaman's Chance. Set in the 1970s, the principal characters are two orphans; one of the orphans is a pretender to the Imperial throne of China. By the way, this pretender to the Imperial throne of China is married to a descendant of the Scottish kings?!? The plot includes everything but the kitchen sink. There is a millionaire, a female folk group from the Ozarks, money hidden during the Vietnam War, some kind of secret spy agency and the Mafia. This is just a start of the list of the plot elements.

Initially, I kind of enjoyed the book. As I got further into the story, I liked it less. The plot is such a mishmash of stuff that it felt outlandish. I didn't dislike the book. I just don't' recommend it. I rated three stars out of five in Goodreads.

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