A Message From Michael Connelly To Hong Kong Readers
It is unusual for me to post anything on this site that is not related to my books, but I am breaking from that tradition here because there is a true life mystery in Hong Kong with coincidental ties to 9 Dragons. If you are a reader checking in from Hong Kong please go to the links below and see if you may have seen Ani Ashekian. She has been missing since November of 2008 and her story has coincidental similarities to 9 Dragons and my research for the book.
Last November, I went to Hong Kong for the second time to finish my research on the novel. I went to a place in Kowloon called Chungking Mansions, a tall high-rise building housing several economy hotels on its many floors and a world market in its lobby. It is well known in Hong Kong and with travelers in that part of the world. I had been there before. It has a colorful and edgy feel to it, like a contemporary Casablanca. I chose Chungking Mansions as a key location in the novel, which brings Harry Bosch to Hong Kong.
When I went to Hong Kong to do the research for the novel, I was in the company of Lee Lankford and Steve Vascik, who took video footage and still photos so that I could use the material later while writing the book and then promoting it. Recently, when Lee was using YouTube to send me a rough cut of a video he had made of our visits to Chungking Mansions, we noticed that YouTube had linked it by subject matter to a video about the disappearance of Ani Ashekian. I viewed the video and realized there were coincidental connections to the story in my novel and that Ani had disappeared just a few days before I came to Hong Kong.
Ani Ashekian had traveled to Hong Kong on her own. It is known that she stayed in a room at Chungking Mansions and was also seen at an ATM in Causeway Bay. She then disappeared and what happened remains a mystery. If you live in Hong Kong, please check out the video and web sites linked below. They are posted here with the permission of Ani’s family. If you recognize Ani or have any information on her disappearance, please contact the authorities listed. Thank you.
— Michael Connelly, Los Angeles, Sept. 30, 2009