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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Monday, June 23, 2014

White Ginger

White Sugar (Mystery/Action/Pulp Thriller
By Thatcher Robinson
Seventh Street Books
ISBN #978-1616148171
293 Pages
Price $15.95
Rating 5-Stars

“Smooth Writing And Easy Reading.”

Bai Jiang (pronounced Bi Chang) is a souxun (pronounced so-soon), a people finder – or tracer of missing persons. Wealthy in her on right, Bai’s godfather is head of the San Francisco Chinatown triad, and she is the ex wife of a high-ranking enforcer; she is closely connected, though not a part of the criminal organization.

When a young Chinese girl comes to Bai, asking her to find her friend, who has been sold into the flesh market, Bai and her partner, Lee Li take the case. Almost on the heels of their initial investigation, she gets a call from the school where her 12-year old daughter, Dan, has been involved in an assault against two boys. It appears altogether separate from the case she’s on, but then other things begin happening that also seems unconnected as well. There is a contract out on her, and an assassin tries to kill her at the airport en route to Vancouver, Canada on the trail of the missing girl. Mysteries pile up on more mysteries, and the case continues to take wild turns.

Her ex husband is ordered to safeguard her, and the triad attempts to protect her, but Bai moves on her own, trying to find the missing girl, and discover who has ordered her death, and why.

The novel never slows down, the writing is smooth and the action is fast. Her partner and martial arts trainer, Lee remains by her side, but she is feisty and quick to act on her own. Good with fist, feet, and weapons – especially knives, she usually acts first, not thinking about the consequences. Her ex husband Jason controls an army of triad soldiers, and demands respect in his circles. He also kills without thought, something that Bai doesn’t like, though there is nothing she can do about it. The police and F.B.I. know who she is, and what her status is in Chinatown, and they keep an eye on her. They are really after Jason and the leaders of the triad, but hope to find them through her.

This is a nice complicated plot, but the characters are the driving force of the story. Bai Jiang moves the action along with a nice pace, and each chapter drops a Chinese proverb that’s straight to the point. The dialogue is often witty, and the reader becomes attached to each character, though we may not be sure which side they are on at any given moment. The strong characters, fast action, good plot, and excellent writing read like exciting new pulp, but this novel has to be a grade above mere pulp fiction. Still, I found it a wonderful reminder of those thrill-a-minute pulp magazines and paperback tales of a bygone day, and anxious to read more stories about this new tracer of lost persons. Remember Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons? Now meet Bai Jiang, people finder, and Chinese triad princess. Yeah! Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories

1 comment:

  1. I believe I won this in a goodreads drawing, and it was so good, it's one of the very few I've kept. I'm going to get the second book when I can.