Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong

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1931 in Shanghai, the Nationalists and Communists are fighting for control of the city, while also attempting to fight off an invasion from Japan. Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but little did she know that the experiment that saved her would also radically change her - no longer able to sleep or age, she can also heal from any wound. Rosalind cannot die - essentially immortal. Turning her back on her traitorous past, she uses her abilities for her country - becoming an assassin, with the code name of Fortune. But now she's on a mission with a partner, trying to uncover a terror cell that is murdering Chinese residents in Shanghai. Problem is, she doesn't typically work with a partner, let alone posing as a married couple. Rosalind will work for the greater good though, while hiding her true identity. Looks like her assigned partner, Orion, also has an agenda of his own, so who knows if even she can unravel the mystery.

While written as the first in a new series called 'Foul Lady Fortune', the book actually takes place after another of Gong's popular series, 'These Violent Delights', becoming the 'Secret Shanghai' series when all put together. Readers do not have to have read the 'These Violent Delights' to enjoy Foul Lady Fortune, as it is its own story, though it does reference characters from the other series, and will in fact reveal the end to that series, so if readers are planning to read 'These Violent Delights', do not read Foul Lady Fortune first. The 511 page novel is a hefty read, but certainly worth it. Some readers may find themselves occasionally confused with character names or affiliations due to the Nationals, Communists and references to other parties, but perseverance in reading pays off. The majority of the book follows Rosalind's viewpoint, with occasional viewpoints from other characters, giving a well rounded story. While it is longer in text than the author Karen M. McManus, it would suit fans of her books.

Themes: Historical, Period, China, Dystopian, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller, Romance, Spy, Assassin, War.

Melanie Pages