Read White Ginger by Thatcher Robinson Online


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, Bai is called upon as a souxun, a people finder, to track down the lost girl. The trail leads to wannabe gangsters,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, Bai is called upon as a souxun, a people finder, to track down the lost girl. The trail leads to wannabe gangsters, flesh peddlers, and eventually to those who have marked Bai for death.Enlisting the aid of her closest friend and partner, Lee--a sophisticated gay man who protects her, mostly from herself--and Jason--a triad assassin and the father of her daughter--they follow the girl across the Bay and across the country. Bai confronts paid assassins and triad hatchet men, only to find that being true to her beliefs as a Buddhist and staying alive are often at odds. At the same time, fighting a faceless enemy who seems committed to having her killed fills her with anger and fear that sometimes turns into a burning rage with deadly consequences....

Title : White Ginger
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781616148171
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 290 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

White Ginger Reviews

  • Ed
    2019-01-25 11:53

    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 appealing to me because in my view, there is way too much imitation across the board these days and originality, in art and life, suffers as a consequence. "White Ginger" stands as a stark exception to much of the tired, mundane formulas of current crime fiction. This is by contrast, a well written, fast paced novel of very appealing characters in a Chinese American world of crime, murder and assassination. Bai Jiang is a wonderful character who, as a mother and a practicing Buddhist, desperately wants to balance her karma bank account by protecting her family, friends and herself without killing anyone in the process, a very daunting challenge as it turns out. I admired her toughness, compassion and generosity of spirit and hope the author continues to write more books based on these dynamic characters with "White Ginger" listed as #1 in the series.

  • Col
    2019-01-23 08:42

    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, Bai is called upon as a souxun, a people finder, to track down the lost girl. The trail leads to wannabe gangsters, flesh peddlers, and eventually to those who have marked Bai for death.Enlisting the aid of her closest friend and partner, Lee--a sophisticated gay man who protects her, mostly from herself--and Jason--a triad assassin and the father of her daughter--they follow the girl across the Bay and across the country. Bai confronts paid assassins and triad hatchet men, only to find that being true to her beliefs as a Buddhist and staying alive are often at odds. At the same time, fighting a faceless enemy who seems committed to having her killed fills her with anger and fear that sometimes turns into a burning rage with deadly consequences.Flavoured with dark humour, White Ginger serves the perfect cocktail of wit, charm, sex, and violence.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. This complicated relationship adds a lot of the humour and fizz to the novel, with a further high coming from the inter-actions between Bai and her gay-live in friend-cum-housemate-cum-protector Lee Li.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. One of the methods I use it to measure a book’s enjoyment, is to ask myself if I would like to read more about the characters and more form the this case – yes to both.4 from 5.My thanks are due to Lisa at Prometheus/Seventh Street Books for my copy of the book. White Ginger is available from the 15th October..

  • Bibi Rose
    2019-01-24 14:40

    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 way Robinson achieved the switch from one to the other and was fairly surprised at what the second turned out to be, even though there were clues. (Let's see; Bai is knowledgeable about real estate-- she can make a major deal in five minutes--and has substantial holdings; could this be going anywhere?) There are plenty of vivid action scenes, and the sex is pretty hot too. I love that there's no split between the main character's private life and the mystery; almost everyone she knows is a gangster on some level and participates in the crime story. Even a visit to Bai's daughter's school yields up an important plot point. A little convenient, that one, but Robinson powers along from page to page in such a way that you don't object; it just seems natural that everything is connected. Great fun to read. In what follows, I have to emphasize that I read an ARC. I hesitate to place too much weight on things that might not appear in the finished copy. But in the version I read, there were a couple of stylistic features that I found peculiar. In a scene with gang members, characters would say something-- a word, phrase or sentence-- in Chinese and then the whole thing would be restated in English. This slowed things down a lot for me. More pervasively, the author has a way of referring to characters with a series of different nouns. So we'll get "the woman… the matron.. the elderly woman." This took me out of the story every time, and it wound up being confusing when I imagine the intent was the opposite.Those quibbles are why I'm giving WHITE GINGER four stars, not five. Robinson is doing something fresh and different here. There are a lot of wonderful small touches. The hook of having a Chinese proverb or saying at the beginning of each chapter could get tiresome in other hands, but Robinson does something a little different with the saying every time, so you're reading each chapter with an eye to what it's going to be. The humor can be positively wicked at times: I love it when Bai is thinking over how she came to kill her first human being, trying to figure out where she went wrong."After hours of soul-searching, Bai concluded it was best to avoid public restrooms."This book has tons of energy and I hope it's going to be the basis for a series.

  • Pamela
    2019-01-31 13:27

    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.

  • Amy
    2019-01-18 10:27

    Review published in print edition of Library Journal on 10/1/13.Library Journal10/01/2013Bai 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 a young Chinese girl sold into the sex trade. It isn't long before Bai realizes that triad politics, her ex-husband Jason, and even the safety of her daughter are in play. VERDICT The taut writing and excellent action sequences make this debut an engrossing read. The chemistry between Bai and her ex add a sensual flavor, but the Chinese proverbs titling each chapter prove a bit trying (especially since the same phrase is repeated in the chapter), and the author would do well to omit this in the next installment. Readers who like their suspense novels propelled by a strong female protagonist against the backdrop of a foreign culture will want to give this book a shot.—Amy Nolan, St. Joseph, MI

  • GlenK
    2019-02-10 08:50

    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 coldbloodedness are sympathetic, even heroic. The plot involves Bia's search for a young girl, a search that is quickly successful but immediately leads to many other problems. There is a mystery to solve (several actually) but I think of this mostly as a thriller: violent, complex, and with strong characters.

  • Sharon
    2019-01-16 09:33

    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.

  • Glen
    2019-02-01 09:55

    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.

  • Sandy
    2019-02-06 09:38

    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!

  • Bayliss Camp
    2019-02-16 14:54

    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.

  • Joyce
    2019-02-07 09:47

    Suzy was right. I read it in less than a day, foresaking other things.

  • Clare
    2019-01-17 06:46

    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, and then be talking again, with no mention of them coming back in. There was excessive Stieg Larssen-like details about food, incompetent (almost nonexistent) police presence until the FBI get ivolved, despite multiple murders, and so much money thrown around it felt like a Danielle Steele novel. And the title, which refers to Bai Chiang's English name just felt... weak? lazy? There was a spot later in the book where someone quotes an old Chinese saying, "The older the ginger, the hotter the spice" and that was the best reference to her name. But she's referred to as Bai the whole book, so it seemed odd. May I refer you to the concept of Checkov's gun?I will likely read the 2nd novel (coming this fall), but this book made me miss the April Wu series. That had stronger Chinese flavor/mood and better writing.

  • Roxann
    2019-01-23 09:25

    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 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 Canada on the trail of the missing girl. Mysteries, twists and turns continue throughout the book. I enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and well written. I could have read it in one night, but I did make myself put it down and sleep. It kept me interesting the entire time I was reading. The plot and characters are engaging. I have not read a book that included a 'triad' before. It brought some new info to me. I received the book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.

  • Wendy
    2019-02-16 07:33

    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 the nature of the struggle. I'm relatively familiar with Mafia tropes and stories, but I'm new to the Triad (aside from the usual mainstream films, etc.). The book's milieu was particularly fascinating to me, but I cannot speak in any way to its authenticity. The plot may be a little thin in places, but I didn't mind much. If there are other books featuring these characters, I'm in for at least one more.

  • Lynne Raimondo
    2019-01-30 09:38

    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 being invited into a good inside joke, like manga for grown-ups without the cartoons. If I had one wish, it would be to see Bai fail once in a while, or struggle more with her non-violent Buddhist principles. As it is now, I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series and seeing how Thatcher Robinson develops his characters. Highly recommended.

  • Viccy
    2019-01-22 09:54

    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 enlist the services of the triad's enforcer, her former husband, Jason Lum. This is the first of two books featuring Bai and I highly recommend both of them. Very well written with interesting plots and I really like the characters.

  • Toni Kania
    2019-02-04 13:32

    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. We'll see what I think of book two.

  • Vontel
    2019-02-08 12:37

    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 her varied family and complex situations.

  • Kate Bennitt
    2019-02-07 10:52

    Better than anticipatedI 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
    2019-01-27 06:42

    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.

  • Kevin Findley
    2019-01-30 06:44

    This was actually an advance reader's copy I picked up from a friend. It was an enjoyable way to spend a rainy weekend. The character Bai is rather different from many other female PIs, cops, agents, etc. I think most readers will like her. The story itself was a little weak, but she makes up for it. One bit of warning. There is a young girl that was severely beaten in the book. The description is pretty graphic, so if kids in danger makes you squeamish, this may not be the book for you.

  • Jenny Prince
    2019-02-13 14:46

    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.

  • Stephanie Tournas
    2019-02-08 11:30

    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.

  • David Marshall
    2019-01-29 06:35

    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.

  • Paul
    2019-02-04 14:35

    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.

  • Heather
    2019-02-07 08:51

    Fluff, but entertaining fluff.-

  • Joanie Leverett
    2019-02-13 07:33

    Fun and witty thriller with the main character being a wealthy daughter & granddaughter of Chinatown Triad members.