WHITE TIGER Review
Gotta love it when you get not only a five-star review, but one that actually goes into some nice detail! Check this out…
Bu Zhan Bu He.These chinese words written on a hotel room wall represent the only evidence left behind at the scene of a particular gruesome murder which opens the thriller ‘White Tiger.’ With action that begins in the Asian underworld, and ends on the streets of San Francisco, White Tiger follows Sargeant Detective Hal Ryker and security specialist (and former special forces operative) Jerome Manning as they both search for a killer who moves like a ghost, and hasn’t yet stopped killing.Manning’s character is developed early in the novel against the backdrop of Tokyo, and reminded me of with the Deckard character from Blade Runner: lost, world-weary, cynical. Having lost his family in a car accident while deployed abroad in special forces several years earlier, Manning lives in Tokyo, works for the Chinese mob, and speaks Japanese & Mandarin fluently. Contracted to clean up some mob business, collateral damage haunts Manning, further damning him. Redemption isn’t an option.
Having earned the titular nickname due to his effectiveness while remaining anonymous and discrete, Manning’s mob contacts are ordered by the Godfather of the Shanghai underworld to send the White Tiger to San Francisco to find and kill whoever murdered his (less favored) son.
Meanwhile, Detective Ryker responds to the opening murder, hoping only to solve the case quickly. He has a history with the murder victim and his powerful father, James Lin – the man who hired Manning. Partnered with the inexperienced Chee Wei, a chatty younger detective whose chinese ethnicity helps the case move along (but also ultimately dooms him), the two chase down leads and introduce a number of supporting characters to the story.
Much like DeNiro and Pacino’s characters in the movie Heat, Manning and Ryker have very few interactions with each other, but find a common ground of respect for each other.
There is plenty of action, lots of steamy sex, and great set pieces. Stephen Knight is a very cinematic writer, but layers his visual action with a lacquer of impressionism which coats this reader’s mind with the feel of the places about which he writes.
The ending is satisfying, and leaves wiggle room for a potential sequel, with plenty of plausible motivation for both main characters to continue the story. I highly recommend this book!