The Shanghaiers is Number 4 of the Coldiron Series. The series has received high praise from national book reviewers such as Booklist, Bookmarks and Kirkus.
With an awesome list of stirring Western novels, F. M. Parker has won acclaim as a master story teller. In The Shanghaiers, he has again created a story that stirs the strongest human emotions as he brings alive the high drama and true-grit of the Western past.
The Shanghaiers is set in San Francisco in the wild and brawling days of the gold rush in California. The story brings together for the first time two of the toughest of characters, Luke Coldiron from the Judge and Executioner story and Tom Gallatin from The Highbinders.
The Shanghaiers is a story of secretive Chinatown and the fierce Chinese Tongs, and of the heart rending plight of the Chinese girls brought from China and forced into prostitution on The Street Of Slave Girls. Their lives were short, usually less than five years, ending with disease or suicide. The story is of The Embarcadero and the trickery of the shanghaiers in drugging men and selling them to ships’ captains for long voyages to the far ends of the earth.
Luke Coldiron comes down from his ranch in the high Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico to wild San Francisco to win a fortune in a game of high stakes poker.
Tom Gallatin is deep into a game in which the stakes are even higher. He is the white man who guards Mingren Yang’s Chinatown empire, not knowing it is an empire built on slavery of young Chinese girls, opium, and murder.
In Shanghai, Ging Ti, a lovely Chinese girl, sellers herself for money to help her family buy a fishing boat after loosing theirs to a typhoon. She is shipped across the Pacific to Mingren Yang in San Francisco.
Black Drummond is the owner of the wildest and most dangerous saloon in San Frrancisco and the biggest shanghaiers on the Barbary Coast.
Fallon is the leader of a gang of card cheats who sets out to rob Coldiron of a fortune at cards.
Marie, one of the most enticing and beautiful females ever to cut a throat, or trick a man into allowing himself to be shanghaied.
When Gallatin falls in love with Yang’s lovely slave girl, Ging, Yang sends his hatchet men to kill him.
Fallon tries to cheat Coldiron of his winnings of a fortune in gold.
Drummond shanghais Coldiron’s friend Whittaker onto the Asia Voyager for a long sea voyage to China.
Luke and Tom pursue on the Sea Witch and after a long sea chase board the Sea Witch and rescue Whitaker.
Returning to San Francisco, a battle against Drummond and his thieves, murderers and shanghaiers must be fought. Gallatin and Coldiron and Ging join forces to kill to survive.
From – Coldiron – The Shanghaiers : “I must get rid of those bodies,” Tom told Ging. “I’m going to carry them up the street to an alley. Now be very quiet.”
He hoisted the body of Zaishing Mo over his shoulder and left the apartment and went out into the drizzly night on the street. As he plodded along with his burden, the drizzle became a rain, large drops plummeting out of the black, foggy sky and drumming on the ground. He was thankful for the rain for it would help hide him in his grisly task.
He made another trip along the street carrying the second dead Chinaman. When he returned to the apartment, Ging was standing pale and drawn in the center of the room.
She whispered to Tom in a tiny voice. “I had to fight Zaishing Mo for he was going to kill me. I waited until he was very close and then I cut him with the knife you had given me.” She held out her hands and they were shaking. She looked up at Tom, her eyes black pools of torment.
Tom tenderly touched her face. “You did what had to be done. Just as I was right to kill that second man. We must not have any guilt for the death of such men.”
“Please hold me,” she said, her voice thin as a ghost’s.
Tom wrapped Ging in his arms and held her, liking the feel of her soft woman’s body.
After a few moments, she extracted herself. “I’m so very cold,” she said and went to lie on the bed.
Tom blew out the candle and reclined beside Ging, pulling the covers over them. He put his arm over her and felt her trembling as she relived the killing of Mo. She moaned, a sobbing sound. He drew her to him as a hard, brittle burst of rain rattled on the glass pane of the room’s window."