Join my Email List!

Reviews


 

The Daily Express, February 7, 2016

“[A] highly impressive debut that manages to combine thrills with emotional depth.”

Read Full Review
 
 

Nudge, January 21, 2016

“The author skilfully weaves the very real issue of forced migration into a the story, and shows that no matter how well the system of dealing with migrants, the ways and beliefs of an adopted land, in this case the United States, don’t always sit well with the ways of the land from which the migrants came.”

Read Full Review
 
 

The Gazette, December 26, 2015

“The literary bent provides depth and powerful movement so by the time punches are flying and buildings are going up in smoke in the final chapters, the ending feels satisfying.”

Read Full Review
 
 

The Life Sentence, August 28, 2015

“[A] remarkable debut… Dragonfish is a harrowing, heartbreaking read full of suspense and lyric beauty. Tran’s characters are unforgettable and his take on Vegas is pitch perfect.”

Read Full Review
 
 
Dallas Morning News, August 28, 2015

“Vu Tran’s splendid first novel will quickly engage you with its suspenseful story of marital discord, told in duplicate, and set largely in Las Vegas… A dark and gripping story, Dragonfish will keep you reading, out of fear that if you stop, you will never truly surface.”

Read Full Review

 
 
New York Times Book Review, August 26, 2015

“Dragonfish is a hybrid: part crime fiction, part literary fiction. It manages both genres exceedingly well.”

Read Full Review

 
 
Los Angeles Review of Books, August 12, 2015

“Like Gatsby, the characters in Tran’s novel yearn for something unattainable… This and the feeling that there will only be a tragic end are what elevate Dragonfish beyond its bookstore genre.”

Read Full Review

 
 
Barnes & Noble, August 11, 2015

“Everything is perfect there, those quiet little garnishes of idiosyncratic detail are gifts, both amusing and full of character. Tran’s novel is filled with this sort of inspired meticulousness, and reading it is to enter its world.”

Read Full Review

 
 
New York Times Sunday Book Review, August 10, 2015

Dragonfish is a strong first novel for its risk taking, for its collapsing of genre, for its elegant language and its mediation of a history that is integral to post-1960s American identity yet often ignored.”

Read Full Review

 
 
NPR Books, August 9, 2015

“[A] hard-hitting debut novel… [Suzy is] a mystery no one can solve, particularly the people turning all their efforts in the wrong direction. But while their efforts aren’t fruitful, they’re absorbing. And they speak to the way everyone is a bit of an enigma to other people, no matter how many words they put into the effort to be understood.”

Read Full Review

 
 
Ploughshares, August 7, 2015

“A sophisticated mystery anchored in one woman’s quest to make amends with the daughter she abandoned, Dragonfish delicately capsizes our notions of what it means to long for escape from the prisons of our own making.”

Read Full Review

 
 
BookPage, August 2015

“If you like your suspense with a literary edge, as with Peter Hoeg’s Smilla’s Sense of Snow, look no further than Dragonfish.”

Read Full Review

 
 
San Francisco Chronicle/Gate, August 5, 2015

“A familiar noir trope — the missing woman — blooms darkly in “Dragonfish” as the story of a lost people, a theme that Tran renders exquisitely, rating the book a place on the top shelf of literary thrillers.”

Read Full Review

 
 
Maureen Corrigan from Fresh Air, August 4, 2015

“Which brings us to Dragonfish, a superb debut novel by Vu Tran that takes the noir basics and infuses them with the bitters of loss and isolation peculiar to the refugee and immigrant tale.”

Listen to Full Review

 
 
Chicago Reader, July 31, 2015

“It’s Hong’s story that makes Dragonfish worth reading—that and the moody Vegas setting, punctuated, in fine noir style, with lots of luxuriant cigarette smoke.”

Read Full Review

 
 
Chicago Tribune, July 30, 2015

“Transfixing…Like such writers as Caryl Phillips, Dinaw Mengestu and Edwidge Danticat, [Tran] is devoted to capturing the immigrant experience and widening everyone’s understanding of its particular as well as universal truths.”

Read Full Review

 
 
Booklist, July 1, 2015

“Vu Tran takes a strikingly poetic and profoundly evocative approach to the conventions of crime fiction in this supple, sensitive, wrenching, and suspenseful tale of exile, loss, risk, violence, and the failure to love.”

Read Full Review

 
 
Publisher’s Weekly, Starred & Boxed Review, June 1, 2015

“This is a most enjoyable mystery, from its distinct, dazzling premise all the way to its satisfying conclusion.”

Read Full Review

 
 
Kirkus, Starred Review, May 24, 2015

“Right off the bat, Tran displays the most admirable and worthwhile gift a serious thriller writer can have: compassion toward even the most disreputable of his characters.”

Read Full Review

 
 
Library Journal, Starred Review, May 4, 2015

“This haunting and mesmerizing debut is filled with all the noir elements—a dark and seedy underworld, damsels in distress, tarnished heroes, and a blurring of moral boundaries.”

Read Full Review