Read the jasmine trade by Denise Hamilton Online


Everything was set. Seventeen-year-old Marina Lu had even ordered custom-made gowns for the ten bridesmaids who, in several months' time, would have preceded her down the aisle at her storybook wedding. There isn't going to be a wedding. Marina lies dead, alone in her shiny status car in a suburban shopping center parking lot, her two-carat diamond engagement ring refractEverything was set. Seventeen-year-old Marina Lu had even ordered custom-made gowns for the ten bridesmaids who, in several months' time, would have preceded her down the aisle at her storybook wedding. There isn't going to be a wedding. Marina lies dead, alone in her shiny status car in a suburban shopping center parking lot, her two-carat diamond engagement ring refracting another abruptly shattered Los Angeles dream. Was her death merely a carjacking gone bad? Or is there more to the story? Marina's murder chillingly introduces "Los Angeles Times" reporter Eve Diamond to a subculture of "parachute kids," the rich Asian teens who are left to their own devices in California while their parents live and work in Hong Kong. Seeking American education and political stability for their children, the affluent parents often leave only an elderly housekeeper in charge of their vulnerable offspring. What was Marina's story? Why was she, at such a young age, marrying twenty-four-year-old Michael Ho? Why is Marina's father, banker Reginald Lu, so reluctant to provide information? As Eve delves deeper into the mysteries surrounding Marina's life and death, she stumbles upon a troubled world of unmoored youth and parental neglect. But Marina, in many ways, would seem to have been among the fortunate. She had money and her parents had power. Eve soon discovers a dramatically more tragic subculture, where destitute young Asian immigrants live in virtual sexual slavery. The story of May-li and her journey from a poor farming home in Fujian, China, to a brothel in Los Angeles is one that Eve will fight to tell and will never forget. A moving, noir-accented crime novel that opensa rare window to an intriguing subject, "The Jasmine Trade" is a passionate and polished debut from an exciting new author....

Title : the jasmine trade
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 8707013
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the jasmine trade Reviews

  • Dan
    2019-04-30 22:17

    This book, written in 2001, is set in the new San Gabriel Valley "Chinatowns" of Alhambra, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, and San Marino. It is a murder mystery set against the background of this burgeoning community. The murder mystery was interesting but it is the background that I read the book for. I have lived most of my life in the San Gabriel, including in Alhambra, and have seen this community spring up like a mushroom out of nowhere.I have been back to where I spent my very early years, just cruising by to observe, and see almost no trace of the white working class neighborhood that is was. It has nearly completely transformed into an American version of China. I've been to see where my grandmother lived the last couple decades of her life in Arcadia and the same thing has happened. Where there was a Lucky's, there is a 99 Ranch Market. Where there was the Horseshoe Bar, there is 幸运 Bar.I live 3 miles from where I grew up, and have been transformed along with the comunity. I have a Chinese attorney, Chinese accountant, Chinese (now Chinese American) wife, Chinese in-laws and a son of Chinese ancestry. I have been to an interior city in China 2 times in the last 6 years and will in all likelihood go back again next year.If you are from the San Gabriel, or live in the San Gabriel valley now, read this book. If you know nothing about this community, it will serve as your introduction to Chinese triads, "parachute kids," fung shui, and other new and fascinating things. if you are a part of this community already, you can read a good suspense thriller set right in stomping grounds.

  • Patricia
    2019-04-27 03:28

    This will be a good light-reading series. The main character and narrator, Eve Diamond, is a young reporter for the LA times. In this first novel in the series, she becomes embroiled in the Chinese Tong while trying to uncover the story of the death of a young Chinese girl. The book is a good combination of a crime thrilled, social commentary, and a dash of romance. An easy enough read that I was done in a couple of days. Perfect airport read.

  • Frank
    2019-05-05 20:04

    Good thriller.

  • Deborah
    2019-05-17 22:24

    This review involves more than one Denise Hamilton novel.I cannot say enough about the writing style of Denise Hamilton. She not only knows the streets of LA, she breathes life into them through her every written word. It's chilling to read her books. Denise has the skill of a fine surgeon, knowing just when and where to place the razor and how to cut to release that last shred of skin between our belief and disbelief. Her hand is quick and so adept we hardly know we've been "had" until it's over and we're shocked to see our heart in our hands. She is a master writer of this genre. I have a feeling Denise is a masterful writer of anything she chooses to put her mind to. I thinks she's spoiled me for reading anyone else in noir fiction, female or male."The Jasmine Trade" is breathtaking. I was completely spellbound by the insider information and story surrounding a young girl killed outside a shop with her bridal dresses in her car! What starts out as a horrendous, but not that unusual these days, tale of a young girl's tragic murder, turned into a spider web of the macabre for me. Denise Hamilton unveiled layer after layer of LA's underside, teaching me things I had no idea existed; i.e., "parachute kids?" I'd never even heard this was happening in our country. And she shone a light into some dark dwellings both physical and psychological that left me shuttering.What I found most exciting about Ms Hamilton's writing in both the novels I read (and her short story "Midnight In Silicon Alley" in her L. A. Noir Collection) was her ability to use an ordinary pace, an simple staccato of words and sentences to lay out the most astounding and dark situations. A clip of interchange between characters that conveyed more than just the words themselves...It was like reading the movements of a cat studying it's prey before pouncing! Glorious and so unusual I wanted to clap and yell, "Yes!!" several times through the books. This kind of writing is intense and so freaking rare!Let me say a little bit about Eve Diamond, who is the journalist/investigative writer protagonist of "The Jasmine Trade." She is vulnerable, hard-core on the side of right, and devoted to her story. I'm a huge fan of this character. I loved everything about her. Hamilton hits just the right chords with her balance between a woman with the insecurities of a feminine sort, and a journalist looking for more than just the surface report in order to lift the scab off a deeper slash on the LA landscape. It's Denise's development of both these sides of her that makes Eve a remarkable character, but it's the use of Eve's vulnerabilities that makes the story itself just blast off the pages. She is unrelenting when looking for the truth behind a murder; but, bound up and driving that is the underlying concern for Asian children abandoned by their parents, for instance. Eve Diamond is a character I can happily read more about in Hamilton's other novels.What was new to me about these books among all the books I've read? The dark tone of "voice." The descriptions of the underbelly of the city and the surrounding scruff and side-beaches. The brilliance of too much light at night and used tinsel garishness by day, both literally and figuratively. The "invisible" people that stray and strand along the sidelines of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and LA. Concepts of evil hidden behind the flat, compliant faces of ordinary kids in designer label outfits- -apparently, no drugs applied. How swiftly calm, security and routine can be smashed in a smoky room, in an unknown section of town where you weren't aware that nobody speaks English, and you don't know how to get a ride home. The multi-cultural nature of a city that is a microcosom of our country and where we're headed.I've tried to convey to you how unusual and how brilliant a writer Denise Hamilton really is. "Damage Control" will send ice splints through your veins. "The Jasmine Trade" will change the way you look at Asian children and their parents for a while; at least it changed things for me. I haven't been able to put these books, and Ms Hamilton's short story out of my mind. I keep returning to parts of them long after I've read them. When studying fine arts and art history I learned that one of the tests of a masterpiece is that we can't stop looking at it. We find ourselves continually drawn back into the painting, finding more things of interest and wanting to look at it longer. There is much of this quality in Denise Hamilton's books. They just keep coming back to haunt you

  • Maddy
    2019-05-13 19:16

    RATING: 3.75A "parachute kid" is the child who lives in a family mansion in California while his or her wealthy parents live and work in Hong Kong. It's hard to imagine that such a thing goes on, but Denise Hamilton portrays the lifestyles of these lost and lonely children in a touching way in her debut novel, THE JASMINE TRADE. Generally, an adult is hired to look after them and manage the practical aspects of their lives. They return from school to an empty home and have very little guidance or direction. Then there are the Asian kids who live with parents who expect them to follow the ways of the old culture. Ultimately, they rebel, often running away from home and ending up in deplorable situations.Marina Lu was a parachute kid until she was killed in a suburban shopping mall. She was only 17 years old but drove a Lexus and had a sparkling engagement ring on her hand. LA Times Reporter Eve Diamond begins to investigate the alleged carjacking but finds that there's a lot more to the picture than meets the eye. At the same time, she is handling her various other assignments for the paper. For one of them, she has to interview a youth counselor named Mark Furukawa. She finds that he is really attuned to the issues of Asian teenagers in the area and that she is really attuned to him.It's obvious that Hamilton is passionate about the subject matter of her book, but that passion sometimes leads her to lecture the reader about the plight of Asian youngsters in Los Angeles rather than revealing the situation through the narrative events. At times, it felt like Eve was manipulating people to get her story, such as Marina's brother and a sad young woman named May-Li who became even more of a victim than Marina had.The book pulled me along, but the agenda covered was overly broad. We've got rich teens in trouble, poor teens in trouble, gangsterism, prostitution, lost love, found love, murder for hire, blackmail and more. There were too many instances where Eve stumbled across information purely through luck, and there were also an overabundance of "female in jeopardy" threads. The ending was especially disappointing. I think Hamilton is a very talented writer who was overly ambitious in what she thought she could accomplish with this book. I did enjoy the book, most particularly its depiction of the Asian situation in California, but felt it would have benefited from a tighter focus.

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-27 02:04

    I liked this--a good solid mystery with a really interesting background story about "parachute kids" in L.A.. These are Asian kids whose parents buy houses in the best neighborhoods and send them to the best schools, but leave them largely unsupervised when the parents return to the home country (China, Hong Kong, etc.) to continue life and business as usual but leave the kids to get the best education. The result is that many of these kids fall in with the wrong crowd--interesting how some of them can simultaneously be straight-A students but moonlighting with Asian gangs as guards in suburban brothels to make lots of cash.This is a murder mystery and it goes deeper than that as it uncovers the layers of the L.A. parachute kid scene, which made it more interesting to me than your standard mystery. The writing was really great at times, the author does a great job of bringing the reader right into the neighborhoods she's describing and making them come alive.I especially liked how this largely took place in the San Gabriel Valley which is near and dear to my heart since I used to live there. The main character's office is even in Monrovia, where I used to live and I love so much.Quick read, nice summer mystery/beach read.

  • Foxy Grandma
    2019-04-30 02:26

    This book started out as your normal crime mystery story. But it quickly became a lot more. The subject became more about the parachute kids in the San Gabriel Valley who are sent to America for an education while their parents return to Hong Kong and Singapore to run their businesses. These children who have the best of everything and are privileged in every way but one, They have no warmth, no family, no connections here. They do have lot of pressure on them to maintain the highest level of grads as well as self-supervising themselves. They also have no street smarts, thus they get sucked into a world of peril with the Asian gangs, organized criminals, dirty cops, drugs, sex rings and other unsavory activities, including the “jasmine trade” where illegal Asians are brought into US and sold into prostitution. This book will keep you riveted to your seat. The characters are original and real, and the plot is compelling.

  • Paul
    2019-04-30 22:29

    This is a good first novel by the Los Angeles based crime novelist. The characters are well drawn, the plot moves briskly and the ending has an interesting twist. At times the level of suspense sags a little but overall this is a good page-turner. The issue of 'parachute kids', foreign nationals left under loose guardianship in LA by wealthy parents working abroad, is explored in depth and adds another dimension to the novel. The plot is set in motion by the murder of one such person, the daughter of a wealthy banker who is shot in her car at a mall. The protagonist, Eve Diamond, is assigned to the story and discovers there is more going on than the apparent carjacking. Recommended, especially for vicarious travelers who will enjoy the LA backgrounding. Michael Connelly fans will enjoy Denise Hamilton's work.

  • Ashley
    2019-05-24 01:20

    I like the writing style and personality of the narrator. She is an independent and determined chick with guts. Sure, she over-estimates her own judgement plenty of times, but it serves to make the story more believable. Also, I quite like her portrayal of Los Angeles. I haven't been there before, but I can really get a vivid sense of the ambiance. I like how the protagonist strikes out on her own to really get into a story that has never really been covered in the mainstream media: "parachute kids." The author of the book, Denise Hamilton, a former LA Times Journalist actually did a real story on the subject. Now that's a cool bit of info ^_^ !!

  • Tiffany
    2019-04-27 19:28

    It was really interesting to read about the parachute kids! I normally am not in to suspense or crime novels, but man, I like Eve Diamond. I only had two complaints: I hate when teens/youth don't have an authetic voice. Sometimes they'd sound like teens, but other times they would speak like how people past young adulthood think 13-20somethings talk. And 2nd, I don't want to spoil anything, but I didn't like Eve's deciscion nor the crappy hand she was dealt in the conclusion. But overall, given the chance, I'd read the books in the series. I randomly chose this off the shelf, so I am just happy it was an entertaining and a informative read.

  • Tracy
    2019-05-08 00:18

    Read this for one of my book clubs and enjoyed it. Not something I would have picked -- one of the reasons I love book clubs! An LA noir story set in the San Gabriel Valley in the 1990s - describing the "parachute kids" phenomenon (wealthy Asian teens living unsupervised in San Marino mansions while their parents manage businesses on the other side of the Pacific) and the "jasmine trade" (smuggling girls out of Chinese provinces and forcing them into prostitution).

  • Mark Baker
    2019-05-04 01:23

    A 17-year-old's death springboards reporter Eve Diamond into the culture of the parachute kids who come to America for an education. But who wanted to kill the teenage girl? The characters are great, however they are under served by a plot that wanders all over the place. I was done with it long before I reached the end.Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  • Ann Lynch
    2019-04-27 03:23

    I loved this book. Read it in 1 day. After living in Shanghai, I found myself looking at many young Chinese faces wondering where all these young people came from - about their stories and as I knew I would go home to the U.S. Someday, where were these people headed and what their futures would look like. So many of them would never have a life like mine. I pray for the young men and women in this story and hope God looks favorably on them.

  • caitlin
    2019-05-19 19:33

    If you like Kinsey Milhone, Skip Langdon or Willa Jansen then you will like Eve Diamond. However, I hate it when a writer gets to the end of a mystery and has the summing up moment and gets it wrong! Hey - you wrote the book, get the facts right! The Jasmine Trade has that moment, and it spoiled an otherwise good mystery for me. Maybe you won't notice it. (except now you'll be looking for it).

  • RuthG
    2019-05-02 21:24

    Denise Hamilton's book introduced me to the concept of "parachute kids." I had never heard of this before and found it both interesting and sad. The mystery is complex and there are a lot of twists and turns. I particularly liked the fact that the red herrings were not always the red herrings they seemed and the plot kept me guessing until the end. I will definitely read more of the series in the future.

  • Kat Delima
    2019-04-28 02:07

    To be honest, I am not sure why this book was so raved about. I found the writing to be very much telling instead of showing. At the end of the book, I feel like I have no connection with the main character Eve. Who is she really? I have no clue. The plot did hold my interest enough to take me to the end of the book but I don't think I will be reading any more in this series.

  • Julia
    2019-05-15 00:27

    This was a good book, I had the pleasure of meeting Denise Hamilton at a book signing in Montclair, CA. She was very nice. As someone who studied journalism, Eve's actions are questionable as a reporter and she breaks several ethic rules, which I overlooked just for the story. I highly recommend this.

  • Courtney
    2019-04-26 02:26

    This novel could have been half as long and less boring if the author wasn't as detailed as she was. It dragged on. I don't really need to be told everything in every 'scene' in the book. Just enough for me to get my mental picture and continue on with the story. I don't need to know how the wind feels or how wet the pavement was in excruciating detail.

  • Kristie
    2019-05-05 02:17

    It took me a while to get into her style of writing, but once I did the story had me hooked. At times it seemed a bit far fetched, but overall it was a good read. I'd definitely try another Eve Diamond story.

  • Ryan
    2019-04-28 00:17

    Schlocky dime-store noir stuff, but kinda interesting in that it's set primarily in the world of immigrant Asian kids and the central character is not only a journalist but a woman. Not a bad read for a plane ride.

  • Bree
    2019-05-21 20:34

    I liked it...overall it was a good book. I thought I had it figured out and didn't...lots of twists. I didn't like the ending, it wrapped up a little bit too neatly with a whole "where are they now" type thing. But, I want to continue reading more of the series...

  • Anita
    2019-05-01 20:23

    A 17 year old girl's murder chillingly introduces L.A. Times reporter Eve Diamond to a subculture of "parachute kids," the rich Asian teens who are left to their own devices in California while their parents live and work in Hong Kong. First in the series. Fascinating story and excellent writing.

  • LJ
    2019-05-12 02:21

    THE JASMINE TRADE – G+Hamilton, Denise – 1st of SeriesThe first novel by this LA Times journalist is a compelling look at the world of modern-day Asian/American teens, gangs and introduces us to parachute children. It’s very well done. I do look forward to reading her second book.

  • Capri
    2019-05-10 19:18

    Detective Story set in LA

  • Barbara
    2019-05-20 20:20

    1st in series with Eve Diamond - just did not enjoy the character so probably would not try another

  • Judith Federico
    2019-05-11 21:10

    This is the first in a series. I liked the protagonist and will probably read others but again it was a little depressing. I may have to read another Nora as an antidote to the last few I've read!

  • Rivkah.
    2019-04-27 22:10

    The book was really exciting, and had a real twist at the end. The part that got me the most is realizing that things talked about in the book really does happen.

  • Noreen
    2019-05-22 02:04

    I hadn't read Denise Hamilton before, but once she led me into a culture in CA that I had no idea existed, I was hooked. She isn't what I call an "easy" read but is definitely an interesting read.

  • Audrey
    2019-05-02 02:06

    Poor, poor Bon Jovi. Why is it always the damn dog?

  • Anupama Talwai
    2019-05-06 01:07

    I'm just discovering Denise Hamilton n loved this book. Insightful,well written n engaging.