Lisa See (b. 1955, Paris, France)

Written by Lisa See

Flower Net, 1997

When they left Beijing that morning, the day’s high was expected to be eighteen degrees. Now, as they prepared to live February second over again, the weather promised to be a perfect seventy-five degrees. A mild Santa Ana had blown away the winter storms. The sun shone. The sky was cloudless, the air clear. Technically it was still winter, but this far south spring was in full bloom. Bright shocks of magenta, pink, red, and orange bougainvillea covered trellises on houses and office buildings. The wild purple of morning glory spread across the occasional garageor vacant lot.

As the van sped north on the San Diego Freeway, Peter gawked at the variety and quantity of cars sweeping — without honking or abrupt swerves — along the wide, clean stretch of asphalt. The young investigator pointed out billboards that flanked the freeway. David himself looked at these as though he were seeing them for the first time and was struck by the voluptuousness of the female models, the tanned brawn of the men, the perfect smiles of both sexes.

Jack Campbell seemed in fine spirits, instantly establishing a rapport with Peter. "Well, Investigator Sun, this is what we call a freeway. You know those car chases in the movies? This is where they film them. See those trees over there? Palm trees. You have those in your country?"

Without waiting for an answer, Campbell continued. "The FBI doesn’t often get visits from Chinese law enforcement officers, so, in addition to our work, we’ve planned some activities. Disneyland. Universal Studios. That sort of thing."

"We don’t think you’ll want to put in a full day today," added Gardner. "It’s Sunday after all, and you must have jet lag."


© 1997 Lisa See; New York: HarperCollins

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