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White Ginger Paperback – October 8, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Robinson&'s uneven first novel introduces Bai Jiang, a souxun (or people finder) in San Francisco&'s Chinatown. When 15-year-old Yu Ma comes to Bai and begs her to find her missing friend Jia Yan (who is also 15), Bai takes on the case. Her search for Jia leads her out of her neighborhood, with its gangs, killers, and sex traffickers, to Vancouver, Canada. While Bai is equally adept at inserting herself into risky situations as she is finding people, the reader has no sense that Bai could ever fail. Bai&'s emotional dilemma over the conflict between her Buddhism and use of violence comes across as far-fetched as she chooses force at almost every juncture. In addition, her penchant for going after the villains before thinking things through wears the plot thin in places, while her philosophic insights can come across as sophomoric in the face of the despicable crimes she confronts. Agent: Kimberley Cameron, Kimberley Cameron & Associates. (Oct.)

From Booklist

The granddaughter of one of the most notorious triad overlords in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Bai Jiang, is a souxon, or people finder. Her large inheritance allows her to pick and choose her cases. In this well-paced debut, she searches for a teenage girl whose brother traded her to a brothel in exchange for admittance to a local gang. Tracking the girl, Bai, business partner Lee, and Bai’s dangerously sexy ex-boyfriend, Jason, encounter and summarily dispatch an assortment of assassins, pimps, and teenage thugs. Bai acquires extra backup when she gets the head of security at her daughter’s school fired for slipping her a copy of some incriminating video footage. As the bodies pile up, Bai realizes that she’s the real center of the storm. Identifying her enemies is easy, but deciding whether to let them live or not proves more complicated. A dagger-throwing Buddhist, Bai is a one-of-a-kind protagonist. Fans of feisty female investigators will find much to like in Robinson’s first novel. --Karen Keefe

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Seventh Street Books (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616148179
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616148171
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,375,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

90% pulp and 100% fun - Ive never been good with numbers

Best read in front of a warm fire while drinking a cold scotch...or two

More About the Author

Thatcher Robinson is a full-time writer. He was previously employed as the chief operating officer of an Internet security firm that develops top-secret cyber warfare materials for the military and various government agencies. Prior to that, he was a software specialist at IBM research laboratories in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. When he's not writing, he likes to restore classic cars and converse with his cats.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
In this novel he has created strong characters with plenty of depth.
It's not particularly deep or subtle but the plot and the characters are engaging and I recommend the book to the reader who enjoys a lively escapist novel .
Overall a great read and at 290-odd pages it's long enough to develop characters and story, but short enough to be a quick satisfying read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By col2910 on October 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
White Ginger is a debut novel and another new author to add to the growing list for this year. It's a thriller-cum-crime novel.......someone please tell me the difference.......set in the Chinese community of San Francisco. Our protagonist, Bai Jiang is female and a single parent with a 12 year old daughter. Her daughter's father, Jason is a ruthless triad killer. Bai, despite her family's history and triad connections is trying to forge her own path within the Chinese community, but outside of organised crime. She is a people finder, well schooled in a myriad of martial arts and not averse to using her skill-set when necessary.

Initially we are on the trail of a missing girl which leads from San Francisco to Vancouver. Bai reluctantly enlists the assistance of her ex-partner, Jason in hunting down the pimp who has taken the girl there to be sold. Bloodshed, confrontation, violence and death follow as the girl is retrieved. A lot of the violence concerns triad inter-gang feuding and a struggle for ascendancy within the movement by Jason.

Our story then evolves into something else, with Bai targeted for death for reasons wholly unrelated to the initial premise of the book. I liked how Robinson switched track on us, whilst still keeping the first thread alive, albeit on a back-burner.
I enjoyed this look at the San Franciscan Chinese community. Bai's friendships, family and business relationships seemed for the most part confined to fellow Chinese, though she does interact and form relationships outside of this. She's likeable, confident and assured in most things, but retains a weak spot for her ex.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Letterman on November 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As I started this novel, whose main character is Bai Jiang, a souxun located in San Francisco, I could not help but compare her with Lydia Chin, of the Lydia Chin and Bill Smith detective series, located in New York City, by S. J. Rozan. The comparison is remarkable in its presence of total opposites, in terms of an individual's adaptation to American culture while remaining surrounded by Chinese-American culture.
Could it be in the West coast's relative proximity to the Orient there is a stronger influence over an individual's loyalties, choices and behaviors? While Bai Jiang searches for a lost girl, she rubs up against her past associations as the granddaughter, daughter, and wife of powerful Triad leaders. Some are now dead and some are assassins. Her life, in many ways, is scripted by these associations, for better and for worse.
Bai Jiang is intense, attractive, and very skilled in self-defense. She is rich. She thinks well on her feet. She carries a detachment, which when viewed by an outsider, might be associated with the fact that she is Chinese, or may just be that she is, as yet, undeveloped in her/as a character. So, I reserve judgement, and hope for more stories featuring Bai Jiang. She carries the strengths and weaknesses of the Chinese culture on American soil in an exciting fashion as she searches for lost people. She places her daughter's well-being first, without question. Her ancestors do have sound guidance and wisdom for her. Whether she can forge a life outside Triad associations, and how she lives that life, remain be seen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Shames on November 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Welcome an exciting addition to the stable of San Francisco-based detectives. "White Ginger" is a Chinese-American detective with mob connections that she tries to downplay. Her focus is finding missing persons, but when she becomes aware of a case of child sex trafficking, she is compelled to bring to justice the perpetrators. In the process she discovers things about herself that she would just as soon not have known--especially that she still finds her violence-prone ex-husband irresistible. This is a fast-paced, fascinating look at the world of Chinese-American mob culture in San Francisco.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Patto TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 26, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every chapter begins with a colorful Chinese saying, and it's ingeniously woven into to the ensuing narrative. It's as if some wise Chinese auntie is making sure the bad guys, and even the good guys, learn a lesson.

But the hardened thugs in this story don't easily learn a Lesson, and neither does the protagonist, Bai Jiang, who's constantly getting into scrapes that require her to throw knives or roundhouse kicks. Fortunately she's skilled enough to win her fights. And she's backed up by an equally tough fighter, her handsome gay business partner Lee.

Bai is a people finder. She finds lost people for their distraught friends or relatives. Her job is not normally life threatening, but this time her search for a missing teenaged girl takes her into the world of sex trafficking, and the people she tangles with are not nice. At the same time, someone else is trying to kill her for reasons unknown. Investigating this threat also turns out to be pretty dangerous.

Bai is descended from a long line of Triad bosses and has had a passionate relationship, and a child, with a triad assassin. Her blood line is blood soaked, but she's a Buddhist and she abhors having to harm or kill even the most evil people. Her talent for violence and her principles are in constant conflict, which is an interesting angle to the story.

Bai is a bit of a male fantasy – a passionate, dangerous Asian beauty. But she's got a soft heart for strays and people in trouble. And her resourcefulness under attack is always entertaining. I've already read the second book in this series, Black Karma. I'm finding Bai a fun heroine, although at times these books get to feeling like a Bruce Lee movie. Not that I mind.
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