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Jasmine Trade Mass Market Paperback – Dec 1 2002

3.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pinnacle - Kensington; Reprint edition (Dec 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786015233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786015238
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,536,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

When a young Chinese bride-to-be is found dead at the wheel of her Lexus at the start of this solid debut thriller, plucky Los Angeles Times reporter Eve Diamond's compulsive curiosity and professional instinct for good copy lead her into the unfamiliar and intersecting worlds of Asian gangs and Southern California's "parachute kids," wealthy Asian teens living unsupervised in San Marino mansions while their parents manage businesses on the other side of the Pacific. By quickly befriending a parachute kid "dancing with the dragon" of gang membership and just as swiftly falling in love with Mark Furukawa, a counselor for troubled teens, Eve ensures herself a role in the investigation that is both complicated and personal. Add in the murdered girl's secret diary, her shady fianc‚, a corrupt bank, a racist cop and the "jasmine trade" (smuggling girls out of Chinese provinces and forcing them into prostitution), and it's not surprising that Eve's entanglement in the case becomes life threatening. First-time novelist Hamilton, herself a former L.A. Times scribe, might be accused of "dancing with the dragon" of common mystery novel tropes, but she, unlike many of her characters, escapes essentially unscathed. In addition to a gripping story and keen observations about contemporary Los Angeles, she also offers an undeniably winning narrator: intelligent, impulsive Eve is sharp on the outside and vulnerable on the inside, willing to cogitate with equal intensity on issues private (a lost love, a dead brother) and public (racial and socioeconomic politics, "the media's scorching glare"). And Hamilton hints, ever so gently, that her heroine might return.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Journalist Eve Diamond knows the problems of contemporary teens, having reported on them for the Los Angeles Times. But when she follows up on a story about 17-year-old Marina Chang, found murdered in her car, she runs across a term she's never heard before: "parachute kids." With a little digging and some help from a good-looking social worker, she learns about a disturbing teen subculture: rich Asian immigrant kids who are living virtually on their own while their parents remain in China or elsewhere to run the family business. Of course, it's too late to save Marina, but Eve is determined to do her best to save another "parachute kid" at risk. This is Hamilton's first novel, and it shows a little: everything comes together too easily in the end, and the climax seems stagey and overplayed, like a gunfight in an old western movie. What does work--and work very well--is the author's thoughtful, eye-opening look at a new version of a destructive, ongoing social evil: kids joining gangs to find family. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Though the plot of Denise Hamilton's novel of Asian gangs and sex slavery is nothing new, where the book shines is in its description of Asian-American culture-- Hamilton obviously knows the many conflicts these people face in straddling two divergent cultures, and it is this which keeps the novel interesting. Unfortunately, her plotting leaves a little to be desired. In the first half, she relies way too much on luck and chance circumstances in having her reporter find out about criminal goings-on, and there are maybe one or two instances where the female reporter probably should've been killed, but made an almost miraculous escape. I think Hamilton also plays many of her cards way too early, so that there are no big revelations at the end as there are in many crime novels, though the ending is somewhat effective in its own understated way. And, to be really picky, there is a sentence or two that comes off a bit clunky. Still, with a little more effort, she could probably join the ranks of Cornwell, Paretski, Reichs, et al.
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Format: Hardcover
It should have been one of the happiest times of young Marina Lu's life: graduating from high school, planning a wedding, shopping for bridesmaid's dresses. Instead she is lying dead in the front seat of her Lexus, the apparent victim of a carjacking gone wrong. So begins this fascinating mystery about the secluded world of Chinese immigrants living in L.A.'s San Gabriel Valley.
Debut novelist Denise Hamilton first wrote about Los Angeles' Chinese community (and the parachute kids) during her other career as a journalist for the "Los Angeles Times." There she uncovered this inner world of California's Asian Southland, all but unknown to most of the city's millions of inhabitants. She uses her skills as an investigator and writer to excellent effect, producing a work that is both compellingly readable and factually accurate. Hamilton's real-to-life characters keep the reader's eyes fixed on the page as she leads us through a mystery that is both compelling and heart-breaking.
I somehow missed this book when it was published last year, despite the fact that it received rave reviews from such gifted writers as Michael Connelly and Thomas Perry. Don't make the same mistake! Buy "The Jasmine Trade" and read it today. It was one of the best mysteries of 2001.
Reviewed by David Montgomery,
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Format: Hardcover
Denise Hamilton's debut novel delves into the affluent immigrant life style of wealthy parents commuting from the Asian mainland while their teen age children reside in high-end neighborhoods with plenty of money and minimal supervision. The idea is to give the kids a good education without the cutthroat competitiveness of the Asian school system, and ready them for admission to top U.S. colleges. The pressure is intense on these youngsters as they are expected to not only maintain the highest of grade point averages, but also take on huge responsibilities of self-supervision and avoid the temptations that are not beyond their financial means, but are way beyond their judgment. These children are known as "parachute kids."
The story opens with the murder of 17-year old Marina Lu at the wheel of her Lexus, an apparent car jacking gone wrong in a mall parking lot. She has been shopping for her ten bridesmaids gowns. Enter Eve Diamond, an L.A. Times reporter, who catches the story. Eve is a fully realized character, a total professional on the job and very vulnerable in other areas. Her well-developed libido is somewhat alarming, for she is nothing if not impulsive. She follows the trail by fits and starts getting to know and appreciate Marina's friends, a dedicated youth counselor that may or may not be a love interest, and running into some high and hard rollers in the Asian community. Unfortunately, the story peaks prematurely and the last quarter of the book is spent tying up loose ends.
Ms. Hamilton gives us a crackerjack portrait of the life of a newspaper reporter. She clearly knows the ins and outs of the trade. She draws an excellent picture of an almost 30-something woman and how she lives and dreams. Eve has an excellent sense of humor and is too imaginative by half.
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Format: Hardcover
Los Angeles Times reporter, Eve Diamond, thought it was just another suburban carjacking gone wrong. Seventeen year old Marina Lu, on her way to order bridesmaid dresses for her upcoming wedding, was now lying dead in the shopping center parking lot, shot in the head. But as Eve looks first into the death, and then the life of this teenager, whose existence was filled with all the advantages that money, status and the upper class provided, she begins to discover that all was not as it seemed. The more she investigates, the deeper she plunges into the desperate lives of rich parachute kids, teenagers left alone in America to fend for themselves while their parents live and run lucrative businesses from Hong Kong, Asian gangs, and the "jasmine trade", smuggled immigrant Asians brought to America, and sold into prostitution. What started as just a sad, local crime story, has now turned into a deadly mission, and Eve vows to find the truth, no matter what the cost..... Turn off the phone and lock the door, Denise Hamilton's debut novel, The Jasime Trade, is about to keep you up reading, all night. This is an intricate thriller that grabs you from page one and never lets go. The plot is tight, tense and compelling, with vivid and riveting scenes that set you on the edge of your seat, and keeps you there. The writing is intelligent, crisp, and spare, and her well drawn characters, original, engaging and very believable. Complex and intriguing, Eve Diamond, is definitely one of the best new leading ladies, or men, to pop up on the mystery/thriller scene this year. It is obvious that Ms Hamilton did her homework, and her indepth knowledge of Los Angeles and the Asian community transports the reader to another world, and adds real credibility to the story.Read more ›
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