Book Reviews - Japan Thrillers
This first novel by Mr. Lancet is for thriller-lovers only. Throw in a love for everything Japanese and it’s a must read. I can’t go far into the plot without giving away too much, such is the tight weave of this story. Let’s just say that the opening lines present us with a terrible murder scene in the Japan district of San Francisco, which we soon learn utterly baffles the police – except for their conclusion that the killing is of Japanese origin. So they call on Japanese antiques dealer and professional sleuth Jim Brodie. Brodie inherited a half ownership in a Tokyo detective agency from his father, but prefers to run his antiques business out of San Francisco. He’s helped the cops on matters Japanese in the past and will do so again, but not without a whole lot of assist from his Tokyo people.
With its plots and subplots this story is quite complex, but is told with wonderful imagination and attention to detail, including a harrowing scene in which mosquitos play a tangential but memorable role, such is the quality of Lancet’s writing. Onion layers are peeled back gradually and systematically until all is finally revealed in a series of non-stop action scenes in the last few chapters. A great story for Hollywood, as Lancet must have intended.
Japanese customs, art, and history abound, never failing to enrich the story. And why not? Lancet lived in Japan for over twenty years, working for a publisher “developing books on dozens of Japanese subjects from art to Zen,” he tells us in a brief bio. All in all a worthwhile read.