China White It will make a great movie: Hong Kong tongs plan to control the United States heroin market. Their masterly plot pulls a young prosecutor-turned-corporate lawyer… China White It will make a great movie: Hong Kong tongs plan to control the United States heroin market. Their masterly plot pulls a young prosecutor-turned-corporate lawyer… Fiction Mystery and Thriller True Crime
Book Review

China White

EW's GRADE
B-

Details Writer: Peter Maas; Genres: Fiction, Mystery and Thriller, True Crime

It will make a great movie: Hong Kong tongs plan to control the United States heroin market. Their masterly plot pulls a young prosecutor-turned-corporate lawyer into the web (his character description: moral! hunky! sensitive!), along with his ex- CIA father (torn! reformed!) and his FBI girlfriend (spunky! Irish! ex- nun!). Minor roles include the daughter (exotic! obedient!) of the true wizard behind the plot, her college professor/lover (Southern! gentlemanly!), and assorted Chinatown Mafia types. Think David Caruso, think Nicole Kidman, think Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa. Get the picture? China White by Peter Maas reads more like a screen synopsis than like a fully developed novel. The characters are mere plot devices instead of real people, and the story is as quick and sketchy as an outline. Some might find such brevity refreshing, and there's no arguing with Maas' timing — heroin is a topical subject these days. Still, by the time the film goes into production, it may be a dead subject. B-

Originally posted Nov 25, 1994 Published in issue #250 Nov 25, 1994 Order article reprints
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