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.
Joanne Pence was born and raised in San Francisco and now makes her home in
the foothills of Boise. She has been president of the Boise chapter of
Sisters in Crime, a founder and board member of the Popular Fiction
Association of Idaho, and founding member and current board member of the
Idaho Writers Guild. A graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a master’s degree in
journalism, Joanne has written for magazines, worked for the federal
government, and taught school in Japan. She is author of the Angie Amalfi
mystery series, which has 14 books and was published by HarperCollins. She is
also author of novels in the genres of historical fiction, contemporary
romance, romantic suspense, fantasy, and—coming soon– a paranormal thriller
set in Idaho.