This book is suspenseful not because of the action (although there is plenty of that), but because Hamilton invents believable characters that you will come to care about. The protagonist is a smart reporter who, in the process of investigating a murder, comes across a prostitution ring run by Asian gangs. The author handles what could be a sensational topic with sensitivity. This book reminded me of George Peleconas' work because it paints such a believable picture of a city's dark side, in this case LA. Can't wait to read the next installment in this series.
This book got off to a slow and somewhat disorganized start. Since it's the first in a mystery series that had been recommended to me, I persevered, fairly certain I wouldn't read beyond the first book. A little past halfway through the book, I realized I'd begun to care about a few characters, wanted some secretive relationships to be resolved, suspected a couple of good guys, etc. In other words I was hooked. It got better and better to the end, and now I'm looking for the next book in the Eve Diamond series.
One FINE read! I learned about a group of people I knew nothing about from this book!
Hamiliton covers the phenomenon of 'parachute kids' in Southern California when she investigates the apparent carjacking and murder of a teen girl in LA's San Gabriel Valley.
Hamilton writes gritty, well-written novels; read anything she's written
Very enjoyable book - Book 1 in the Eve Diamond series. This book kept me guessing... recommend it!
Though the content of this book is par for the course as far as suspense-driven thrillers go (protagonist navigates through a tangled web of deceit that is personally disturbing and life-threatening), what really makes this book interesting is its tone and its sense of place. Set in modern-day Los Angeles, the prose echos the gritty, no nonsense style of classic Hollywood film noir. The narration is entirely in first person--and the narrator, Eve Diamond, is tough and flawed, with as many deep recesses and secrets as the underworld villains she encounters. The dialogue is sometimes forced and the plot sometimes requires a more than willing suspension of belief, but the book is really at its best capturing the gritty hodge-podge of urbanity that is modern L.A. Perhaps if I lived there it would be different, but this book did much more to convince me that L.A. is an urban metropolis, with its own logic and unique demographics, than six weeks of working in the city did.
Cliff's Notes: For romantic suspense, I still prefer J.D. Robb's Eve Dallas and Roarke, but the film noir prose and sweeping cityscapes of L.A. and its environs made _The Jasmine Trade_ worthwhile nonetheless.
Seventeen-year-old Marina Lu lies dead in her shiny status car in a suburban shopping centre car park, her two-carat diamond engagement ring refracting another shattered Los Angeles dream. Was her murder merely a carjacking gone bad, or is there more to the story? LA TIMES reporter Eve Diamond is determined to find out. Why was Marina, at such a young age, marrying twenty-four-year-old Michael Ho? Why is her father so reluctant to provide Eve with information about his daughter? And why would someone steal the dead girl's diary? Eve's investigations take her into the world of the 'parachute kids', rich Asian teens who are left to their own devices in California while their parents live and work in Hong Kong. She also discovers an even more tragic subculture, where destitute young Asian immigrants live in virtual sexual slavery. As Eve unravels the haunting details and closes in on her scoop, she finds that someone is prepared to kill to keep the story hidden.
From back of book:
The victim is found dead in a chic shopping center parking lot, her two-carat engagement ring still on her finger. To the cops, it's a routine carjacking gone bad. But L. A. Times reporter Eve Diamond thinks there's more to the story.
Searching for the truth plunges Eve into the darkest shadows of L. A. where young women are forced into virtual sexual slavery, and money can buy the most brutal plesures....
But someone wants to keep these dirty little secrets from being revealed. Someone with more power than Eve knows. Someone who has killed once and will kill again.
The victim is found dead in a chic shopping center parking lot, her two-carat engagement ring still on her finger. To the cops, it's a routine carjacking gone bad. But L.A. Times reporter Eve Diamond thinks there's more to the story.
Searching for the truth plunges Eve into the darkest shadows of L.A., where young women are forced into vitual sexual slavery, and money can buy the most brutal pleasures...
But someone wants to keep these dirty little secrets from being revealed. Someone with more power than Eve knows. Someone who has killed once and will kill again...