The Triads

The Triads : The Story of the World's Deadliest Criminal Fraternity

  • Hardback
By (author) 

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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 138 x 218 x 28mm | 480.81g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Grafton
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 8pp b&w illustrations, bibliography, maps, index
  • 0246136804
  • 9780246136800

Review Text

Novelist Booth (Dreaming of Samarkand, 1990; The Jade Pavilion, 1988, etc.) takes on the Chinese Triads in a serious but flat historical updating that does not sweeten the way with storytelling. The Triads have been at work for two thousand years and, to many Chinese, mix crime with patriotism, since they were first formed to overthrow an unpopular leader. ship and through the ages have consistently gained strength by allying themselves with benign leaders. Booth shows how both Sun Yat-sen and General Chiang Kai-shek were Triad leaders for a while and later allied to Triads. The Triads especially did not want the Communists to overthrow Chiang Kai-shek and suffered when that came about; Mao Tse-tung declared death to drug dealers and drove the Triads out of China, into Hong Kong and Singapore. Hong Kong has been the patriotic hub of the Triads, from which they move drugs from the Golden Triangle about the world - Booth says it's about 90 percent of the world's illegal drug supply. But with Hong Kong itself going Communist in the very near future, Triads are moving into Chinese populations in Australia, Great Britain, and the US, bringing with them incredible expertise at stock-market and computer fraud, including counterfeit computer hardware and software every bit as good as the originals, not to mention other well-made high-ticket fakes such as $2,000 watches that go for $100. Meanwhile, with their Turkish suppliers shut down, Triads have quietly resumed poppy-growing in southern China, and China has experienced a massive jump in serious crime. But the great threat is the movement of vast Triad investment capital into the West, as well as into Japan. Booth's suggestions for dealing with all this are of the utmost severity and not far off Mae Tse-tung's. Worthy - but not the big grab bag of anecdotes about the Triads that might strike the popular mind and give Booth's message widespread impact. (Kirkus Reviews)show more