Summer Sale! Save 20% today and get access to all our member benefits.

Excerpt from The Jasmine Trade by Denise Hamilton, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Jasmine Trade

A Novel of Suspense Introducing Eve Diamond

by Denise Hamilton

The Jasmine Trade by Denise Hamilton X
The Jasmine Trade by Denise Hamilton
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2001, 281 pages

    Paperback:
    Dec 2002, 352 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Or, as seventeen-year-old Marina Lu had done, you could order custom dresses for the ten bridesmaids who would precede you down the aisle the following June, the wedding day Marina had planned for years with the boy she had known since junior high.

Except on this stultifying morning, fate had backed up and pulled a U-turn, and now Marina Lu lay dead, brains splattered all over the buttery leather seats of her status car, the two-carat rock on her manicured engagement finger refracting only shattered hope.

I picked my way past the yellow police tape that cordoned off the murder scene, waving my notepad and press pass and standing close enough to a burly cop so that my perfume-spiked perspiration got his attention.

"Looks like an attempted carjacking that went bad," the cop said, squinting into the sun as he recited the facts. "Witness in the parking lot heard the shot, then saw an Asian kid, about fifteen, take off in a late-model Honda with two accomplices. Fifth carjacking here this month, and the first time they flubbed it. She must have resisted." The policeman punctuated his commentary with a huge yawn that bared his fleshy pink palate.

"And there's why," his partner said, watching the homicide detective retrieve a Chanel bag and pull out a matching wallet stuffed with hundred-dollar bills. "She was gonna pay cash for those dresses. Those immigrants don't believe in credit."

Nudging the Acura back onto the freeway, I headed for my office in Monrovia, a formerly white WASPy town at the foot of the San Gabriels, where the Times had established a bureau in the halcyon years when it was busy stretching great inky tentacles into every Southland cul-de-sac. The Valley was gritty and industrial, filled with the vitality of colliding immigrant sensibilities that were slowly squeezing out the blue- and white-collar old-timers. All the big Rim cities were morphing into Third World millennial capitals. But in the San Gabriel Valley, the future was already here. I made a mental note to ask the police reporter from the Chinese Daily News out for lunch on the Times Mirror tab. I had seen him again today at the mall carjacking, interviewing madly. Skinny, with bad teeth, he looked like he could use a good meal. And I could use some fresh story ideas.

"Metro wants twelve inches," Miller called out when I stepped inside the fluorescent light of the office, letting the cool air blast my hot skin.

I wrote it up, then dawdled at my desk. Until there were some arrests, it would be just another murder in the City of Angels, which on prickly summer days averaged more than one each hour. Sure, there was the sob factor about the bride mowed down as she planned her wedding, and I milked it for all it was worth. But it was more from habit than any vestigial hope that I would shock readers into doing something about it. The story of the dead woman in the car was no more gripping than that of the two-year-old toddler killed by a stray bullet in South-Central L.A. as he played in the living room. The elderly widow clubbed to death in Long Beach by the transient she hired to weed her lawn. Or the seventeen-year-old honor student in El Sereno whose single mother had changed neighborhoods to escape the gangs, only to have her son shot when his car broke down on the freeway. For reporters and cops alike, a sort of battle fatigue had set in. We had lost our ability to be shocked. My brain flickered to the next story as I ate cold sesame noodles from the plastic bento box I packed each morning. Then it was back in the sweltering car to interview a man named Mark Furukawa for an education story.

In a small bureau, everyone wore several hats. I also covered the schools. Frankly, the education beat didn't thrill me. Single, without kids, I couldn't relate to the obsession with SAT scores and dress codes. Now a teacher had referred me to Furukawa, hinting that the youth counselor for troubled kids at the Rainbow Coalition Center could dish up something more spicy.

Copyright © 2001 by Denise Hamilton

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Mood Swings
    Mood Swings
    by Frankie Barnet
    This book begins with a bombastic premise. Seemingly fed up with the heating planet, the world's ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye
    The Ballad of Jacquotte Delahaye
    by Briony Cameron
    Our titular heroine's story begins in Yáquimo, Santo Domingo. Jacquotte Delahaye is a young ...
  • Book Jacket: Another Word for Love
    Another Word for Love
    by Carvell Wallace
    "I write about beautiful things because I live in a country that has tried to kill me and every...
  • Book Jacket
    The Flower Sisters
    by Michelle Collins Anderson
    Michelle Collins Anderson's novel The Flower Sisters, based in part on a real tragedy that occurred ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
The 1619 Project
by Nikole Hannah-Jones
An impactful expansion of groundbreaking journalism, The 1619 Project offers a revealing vision of America's past and present.
Who Said...

The longest journey of any person is the journey inward

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

L T C O of the B

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.