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China White Hardcover – October 1, 1994

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671694170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671694173
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,984,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Known primarily for his nonfiction, Maas (Serpico) delivers in his third novel (after Father and Son) a fact-based and fast-moving thriller about Chinese drug smuggling. Hong Kong businessman Y.K. Deng approaches the New York law firm of Needham & Lewis to help him relocate to the U.S. in anticipation of China's takeover of Hong Kong in 1997. Assigned to Deng's case is young former prosecutor Tom MacLean, who, along with his current romantic interest, FBI agent Shannon O'Shea, slowly learns that Deng is actually the head of a powerful and criminal Hong Kong triad and intends to flood America with a particularly potent type of heroin called China white, using the Mafia to distribute it. Maas writes briskly, filling his story with sharply drawn characters, neat and believable twists (though the climax just skirts hokiness) and a wealth of factual information that's never obtrusive. Darkening the narrative is the author's bleak view of the almost uninterrupted flow of drugs into the U.S. That Deng's plan is undone by a careless mistake might seem like bad writing, but, in Maas's hands, it's a veiled comment on just how difficult it is for government agencies to discover and stop drug runners-making this an effective cautionary tale as well as a swift and engaging read. Movie rights to Disney; author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

An influential Chinese business tycoon plots to transfer the assets of the Hong Kong crime syndicate to the United States in a single huge shipment of high-grade heroin. With the guidance of a law firm populated by former CIA operatives, he sets about relocating his businesses in New York's Chinatown. His counsel, Tom MacLean, is a new recruit from the U.S. attorney's office, hired by the firm specifically for his father's CIA connections. From the outset, young MacLean is caught in the crossfire between Chinese Mafia warlords, the New York crime syndicate, and the Chinatown gangs, all of whom have keen interests in the profitability of heroin. Maas (Manhunt, LJ 7/86) has woven a taut, compelling thriller of the Chinese underworld. Recommended for fiction collections.
--Susan Clifford, Hughes Aircraft Co. Lib., Los Angeles
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
To take such a true and scary real-life situation and write it as an entertaining story - without being either overly draconion or frivolous - is quite a feat.

Anyone who has studied Singapore's success in controlling drugs sorely wishes for a bit of intelligent discipline in our own country. Of course the Drug Companies and the top 5% would not like that at all. Today, over 10 years since NAFTA and Peter's book were both launched, illegal immigrants and drugs pore into our Country while jobs pore out. In 2004, there were over 500,000 20' (TEU) sea-going cargo containers brought in from Asia (mostly China)- and those were just the ones brought into America through the port of Long Beach, CA - very few if any were inspected by US authorities. Today, there are tens of millions of containers flowing into our ports as high-profit exports continue to dwindle.

A novel built around the loading and distribution of the contents of just one of those containers would make a great sequel to China White.

Just as in espionage novels and real life, truth is often stranger (and scarier) than fiction. I think Peter Maas has done a fine job - both as an author and as someone trying to give us a wake-up call about what we are allowing to happen to our Country and our Citizens.
John Schuler
Portland, Oregon
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on August 30, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
have read non fiction stuff by maas, so decided to give this novel a try . . . interesting, though not great . . . (i prefer his non fiction stuff)
. . . but got to listen to cassette tapes of book, so i would recommend it on that basis (though don't know if i would have enjoyed it as much had i actually read it).
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By Keyser Soze on April 15, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
China White is written by an author whose familiarity with organized crime is well known and readily verifiable. In the beginning of the book his background explanations are too long, so the first quarter of the book moves much slower than a typical novel of this type - but when the novel picks up steam it really snowballs.

Aside from the aforementioned overdone background, faults here include an unnecessary love story. Thankfully, the author doesn't spend a lot of time on it, but the book would have been better with a different sort of intrigue between the two characters or none at all. The scene where they make love for the first time was rushed and formulaic, and had all the earmarks of something the author was including because his publisher told him that a sex scene was needed in the book.

The book's pluses outweigh the minuses in a big way, though. The slight speed bumps in the book don't take away from the fact that the author knows how to come up with a good story and he has more than enough knowledge of the subject matter to support the story well. His portrayal of the book's antagonist, Y.K. Deng, is masterful.

Because of the author's knowledge of organized crime, this is a novel you can actually learn from. Everything in it is realistic, everything is plausible, and chances are that most of it happened. Again, it starts slowly, but it's awfully hard to put down once it begins to roll. I recommend it highly to anyone interested in organized crime, law enforcement and / or Asian culture.
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By Magyar on December 31, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Most of my previous Peter Maas reads have been non-fiction. "Serpico" is certainly a classic. The only previous Fiction that I have read by him was "Fathers and Sons". I would rate "China White" Higher than "Fathers...". Book is set in NYC and Hong Kong with visits to the Drug Triangle around Laos. Main character is a former prosecutor who has Family ties to Y K Deng, who is the Head of a TRiad
that is bringing "China White" into this country. There are also interlocking characters such as an Ex-Nun who is now an FBI Agent, and an Archeologist who is love with the Daughter of Deng. Reads True-to-life.

Only question is 4 or 5 Stars. HOWEVER this is a recommended read.
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