The Jasmine Trade

Everything was set. Marina Lu had even ordered designer dresses for the eight bridesmaids who, in several months' time, would have preceded her down the aisle at her painstakingly planned, storybook wedding. But Marina lies dead, alone in her shiny status car, a two-carat diamond engagement ring refracting nothing but another abruptly shattered Los Angeles dream. Was her death merely a carjacking gone bad? Or is there more to the story? 

Marina is Los Angeles Times reporter Eve Diamond's chilling introduction to "parachute kids," the rich Asian teens who live alone in California while their parents run businesses in Hong Kong. Delving into the mysteries surrounding Marina's life and death, Eve stumbles upon a world of unmoored youth and an even more tragic subculture where young immigrants live in virtual slavery. As Eve unravels the haunting details and closes in on her scoop, what she learns puts her own life in danger. A moving, noir-accented mystery that opens a rare window on cross-cultural, contemporary Los Angeles, The Jasmine Trade is a passionate and political debut. 

Hardcover, Scribner, July 2001, ISBN-13: 978-0743212694
Paperback, Pinnacle Books, December 2002, ISBN-13: 978-0786015238