Karma, A White Ginger Novel (the second in the series)
centers on a Chinese-American ppeople finder, Bai Jong. She's
smart, an excellent knife thrower, attractive, independent
and rich. This makes for an interesting character that does
not have to grovel as a private investigator (PI) for any
case just to make ends meet. In fact, her independence gives
her a range of choices she can make that most other literary
PI's would not have the freedom to make. The first and most
intriguing point is why is Bai a PI when she is so rich? The
novel provides a good explanation.
What I liked especially about Bai and the story is it introduced
the reader to aspects of Chinese modern life in San Francisco's
Chinatown normally not encountered in mainstream PI novels.
Robinson brings to life a truly contemporary Chinatown beyond
the usual stereotypical views.
Also, Bai is a complicated woman who is morally strong and
believes in her work as a "people finder." Bai is
a good moral fence-post that other family members and friends
lean on while, at the same time, she is dealing with a swirl
of questionable and downright nasty characters. When Robinson
throws in the inevitable tensions of traditional Chinese values
versus a modern outlook on life, one appreciates the waters
that Bai must navigate daily.
Black Karma is an excellent, suspenseful and thoroughly
enjoyable mystery/thriller with a gutsy, determined heroine.