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Against the background of San Francisco at the time of the Great Earthquake and Fire of 1906 comes a tale of love and loss. Ruth Greer, wealthy daughter of a shipping magnate, finds a young boy who has run away from his home in Chinatown—an area of gambling parlors, opium dens, sing-song girls, as well as families trying to eke out a living. It is also home to a number of highbinder tongs, the infamous “hatchet men” of Chinese lore.
There, Ruth meets the boy’s father, Li Han-lin, the handsome, enigmatic leader of one such tong, and discovers he is neither as frightening, cruel, or wanton as reputation would have her believe. As Ruth’s fascination with the area grows, she finds herself pulled deeper into the intrigue of the lawless area, and Han-lin’s life. But the two are from completely different worlds, and when both worlds are shattered by the earthquake and fire that destroys San Francisco, they face their ultimate test.
JoMarie Lodge is the pseudonym of a USA Today best-selling author.