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White Ginger

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3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  71 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Fierce loyalties, staunch compassion, and a weakness for strays lead Bai Jiang--San Francisco's best knownsouxun, or people finder--into violent conflicts that test her pacifist beliefs in the brutal world she lives in.

Armed with Buddhist philosophy and wicked knife skills, Bai Jiang works at being a better person by following her conscience, while struggling with what she
...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Seventh Street Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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(showing 1-30 of 685)
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Ed
Oct 27, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it
White Ginger the Chinese name for Bai Jiang, a "souxun" or finder of lost people. She is also a fascinatingly complex woman with family ties to a Hong Kong triad operating out of San Francisco's Chinatown. With her mostly Chinese American allies, she attempts to locate and save a teenage girl sold into the international sex trade. Complications ensue and everything quickly goes sideways in what develops into a quite original plot line.

Originality is what made this brilliant debut novel so appea
...more
Col
Oct 21, 2013 Col rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, r
Synopsis/blurb....

Fierce loyalties, staunch compassion, and a weakness for strays lead Bai Jiang--San Francisco's best known souxun, or people finder--into violent conflicts that test her pacifist beliefs in the brutal world she lives in.

Armed with Buddhist philosophy and wicked knife skills, Bai Jiang works at being a better person by following her conscience, while struggling with what she likes to think of as "aggressive assertiveness."

When a girl goes missing in San Francisco's Chinatown, Ba
...more
Samantha
Feb 23, 2014 Samantha rated it it was ok
"Promising, but no touchstone"

Robinson shows some pretty solid chops for storytelling, but the prose is spotty. If this were a thin pulp that I'd bought at an airport, read the first plot arc, dozed off and forgotten it on the plane, I would have felt satisfied. White Ginger gives you a cute mix of Chinese proverbs, satisfying revenge and middle-aged sex. Then the characters return to San Francisco and the plot falls apart.

About half way through, White Ginger has me wondering how many cooks had
...more
Amy
Oct 04, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
Review published in print edition of Library Journal on 10/1/13.
Library Journal
10/01/2013
Bai Jiang is a souxon, a people finder, working in San Francisco's Chinatown. Raised within the brutal world of the triad (Chinese organized crime), she is uniquely situated to help those in need in this secretive and brutal culture. A practicing Buddhist with a lethal fighting style, our heroine is an intriguing contradiction. This mystery opens with Bai and her partner Lee accepting an assignment to rescue
...more
Bibi Rose
Sep 06, 2013 Bibi Rose rated it really liked it
I was excited to get this book as part of the First Reads program, because Seventh Street Books is turning out such interesting stuff. No question, WHITE GINGER is interesting: noirish, funny in an offbeat way, with a great protagonist. Bai Jiang is a bit of a Lisbeth Salander-type female superhero. She comes from an outside-the-law background and possesses an otherworldly assortment of skills, ranging from knifeplay to real estate. The plot is cool-- or should I say the two plots. l enjoyed the ...more
Pamela
Nov 13, 2013 Pamela rated it really liked it
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 strong
...more
GlenK
Dec 11, 2013 GlenK rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
One of the things I like best about this book is the chapter titles. Each one seems straight out of Charlie Chan (this is a compliment) and each is cleverly worked into it's chapter's conversations. Another thing I like is the characters. For instance there is main character Bia, a relatively peace-loving souxum (finder of people) with a triad family background she wants nothing to do with. And there is Jason, Bia's ex-husband and one of a number of violent characters who beneath their coldblood ...more
Bayliss Camp
Mar 20, 2014 Bayliss Camp rated it really liked it
A gripping plot, lovely scene-setting, and intriguing characters. Some of the plot twists may be topical (e.g., the Martinez family as referents for the Calderons), but the dramatic tension is durable. Very much looking forward to the next installment.
Sandy
This was an amazing book. It was fun to read considering it was about death, abuse, criminal enterprises and generally rotten goings on!!!
It was unusual, enjoyable and absorbing. The characters were compelling. I got a little goosebumpy because I felt that I was reading something special!
Clare
Jun 08, 2014 Clare rated it liked it
A Chinese female detective named Bai Chiang (literal translation "White Ginger") is asked to track down a young Chinese girl sold into sexual slavery by her brother, who does so in order to join a gang.

Bai needs the help of her ex, a brutal contract killer for the Chinese mafia with whom she has intense sexual chemistry.

The plot line was decent, and some of the characters were actually fleshed out while others were mere char, but the writing needed some tough love. People would leave the room,
...more
Sharon
Jan 04, 2014 Sharon rated it really liked it
Pretty good, although the protagonist seems conflicted about herself and how she perceives her world. The "I am a Buddhist and therefore a pacifist" approach doesn't not work for her. However, I can appreciate that she wants that balance given the life she was born into. I like the book and the protagonist; both are interesting. The proverbs are spot on and the writing is humorous despite the serious social topics highlighted. Stylish. Hope he writes another one with White Ginger.
Wendy
Feb 16, 2014 Wendy rated it liked it
White Ginger is a quick and mostly satisfying read. The pace is excellent with little to no drag. There is a decent amount of action and intrigue with just enough character development to make me care about the major players. I liked the protagonist and I really appreciate the balance between her decisive action and her recognition of its emotional toll. I like that there is some moral complexity. The characters wrestle with big questions, and don't often find clear answers, but it seems true to ...more
Joyce
Dec 28, 2013 Joyce rated it it was amazing
Suzy was right. I read it in less than a day, foresaking other things.
Vontel
Jan 01, 2015 Vontel rated it it was amazing
I quite enjoyed this book, having started with the second one in the series, and then going back. It did set some of the beginning stage for the series. While I suspect each book can stand alone, it is richer reading and enjoyment if you start at the beginning. I can see this series being an interesting companion/alternate to the Ava Lee mysteries. There are similarities, although significant differences in the protagonist/heroine. I look forward to reading more in this series with Bai Jaing and ...more
Viccy
Oct 16, 2014 Viccy rated it it was amazing
Bai Jiang is a souxun (people finder) in San Francisco's Chinatown. She has an affinity for strays and decides to find Jai, a 15-year old who has disappeared from her family. The trail leads deeply into triad politics, something Bai tries very hard to stay out of since her grandfather was head of a the Sun Ye On triad. She is a known associate, which earns her a spot on the FBI's watch list. And when her friend and lawyer, Benny, turns up missing and two assassination attempts fail, Bai has to e ...more
Roxann
Jun 11, 2015 Roxann rated it really liked it
Bai Jiang is a souxun, 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
...more
Kate Bennitt
May 07, 2014 Kate Bennitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than anticipated

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would so I'm going for the 4 stars. It kept my interest the entire time and it went places I didn't predict. I thought the internal struggle within Bai made her an empathetic character and someone I enjoyed rooting for. I also enjoyed how she's a total bad ass and family oriented at the same time. I definitely want to read more about her and her story as it continues.
Linda
Oct 13, 2014 Linda rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club-choice
The writing style is very, very immature, however I was able to finish the book easily, without feeling like it was a painful slog. The story read like a movie version of life rather than the reality of life, crime, and law enforcement. Everyone is a characiture that feels like a teenager's image of what they must really be like, and a lot of youthful revenge fantasies are not-so-subtley inserted throught the story. Not to my taste, but I'm sure it will suit some.
Lynne Raimondo
Dec 16, 2013 Lynne Raimondo rated it really liked it
This is a good, fast read, in the best sense of those words. In the beginning, I was worried that the protagonist would be a a cliché -- a sort of Asian Lisbeth Salander without the abusive background. I was pleased to be wrong. Bai is an interesting character, and her interactions with her gay sidekick, Lee, and ex-husband, Jason, crackle with subtle wit and real feeling. The action moves along at a brisk pace and the author's fondness for his material is very evident. I often felt like I was b ...more
Jenny Prince
Feb 08, 2015 Jenny Prince rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
A warning, this is a very violent mystery. That being said, it is very enjoyable and well written. The main character is admirable in part because she is flawed. I plan on reading the next one as soon as possible. Readers that enjoy a strong female lead, Asian-American culture, and a strong story line will enjoy this.
Joanie Leverett
Mar 09, 2014 Joanie Leverett rated it really liked it
Fun and witty thriller with the main character being a wealthy daughter & granddaughter of Chinatown Triad members.
Reva
Jul 09, 2015 Reva rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Poignant, gritty and funny. A good read all round
Heather
Jun 20, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, murder
Fluff, but entertaining fluff.-
Toni Kania
Dec 07, 2014 Toni Kania rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I am very conflicted about this book. I both loved it and hated it -- really. I loved the locale, the protagonist, the culture, the secondary characters, but it was a very violent book -- gang violence, which tends to be vengeance-oriented violence. I felt a bit less removed from it than I would the brutal, sick, random, personal, violence for the sake of violence stuff. I think. Maybe I should have given it a 3. A 1 for the violence and a5 for the characters, etc. It's the first in a new series ...more
Ryan Loots
Oct 30, 2014 Ryan Loots rated it really liked it
Insights into the Chinese Mafia.
Glen
Sep 05, 2013 Glen rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, firstreads
I won this book in a goodreads firstread drawing.

This book features souxun, or people finder, Bai Jiang.

She starts out looking for a young girl sold into prostitution, then finds herself into ever deeper trouble.

Every chapter starts with a Chinese proverb, that is illustrated within the chapter itself.

On the whole, the thing reads like a 1970s era Men's Adventure novel updated for the 21 century. quite a satisfying read.
Paul
Dec 31, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Solid first book, had some plot twists I did not see coming, and kept me engaged through the whole book. Look forward to this becoming a series. I stumbled onto this book and B&N too bad it was not marketed better.
David Marshall
Aug 25, 2013 David Marshall rated it it was ok
This has some good ideas but, as a first novel, the execution is uneven and amateurish. Shame really. With better editorial input, this could have been really good.

http://opionator.wordpress.com/2013/0...
Stephanie Tournas
Nov 01, 2013 Stephanie Tournas rated it really liked it
A fast moving mystery set in San Francisco's Chinatown and among personalities of the triads of crime in residence there. A great, strong female protagonist, Bai is strong yet flawed investigator who has to figure out who is trying to murder her.
Fiona
Sep 09, 2013 Fiona rated it it was ok
Got this as a Goodreads First Read. Review forthcoming.
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