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Blood Rubies announces the fiction debut of Mailan Doquang. She examines the international jewel smuggling as well as using it for an exciting backdrop for a crime thriller. The novel builds suspense as we learn more about this business.

She makes the protagonist one of "the workers" in this underbelly. Rune Sarasin pulls a hotel heist, lifting rubies off of a smuggler Charles Lemaire with her boyfriend Kit. Discovered by Lemaire's thugs, they escape in a cinematic chase through Bangkok. Thinking she can take a breath, she soon learns that her sister, Madee, is missing in the city's slum In her frantic search, Rune loses the rubies. Then it gets worse.

Lemaire kidnaps Kit, threatening to kill him unless she returns the rubies or an item of equal value. Now in search of both the rubies and Madee with everything becoming more desperate with each step. as things tighten and tighten for Rune, the story expands as her circumstances and need to to get out of them take her outside her "normal" life.

Doquang takes you through the illegal jewel business from high to low and around the world. We get the feel for the Bangkok slums and how there are more dangerous parts than others. She ties the smuggling of precious gems to smuggling humans who aren't considered as precious. She even lays the crimes to our shores as with a daring heist, connected to New York's Sotheby's Auction, Rune has to execute in the climax.

Doquan comines a journalists eyes for detail, a pulp write instinct for momentum, and novelists sense of character to deliver and intense tale that grabs the reader with each page. Blood Rubies gives us a living, breathing criminal setting that alway provides danger and obstacles for its protagonist. It also gives us a new voice worth in Mailan Doquang worth keeping an eye on.


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