A Jim Brodie Thriller by Barry Lancet
Review: Jim Brody takes on the assignment of protecting an elderly man, who believes his life is in danger, more at the request of the man's son than on the strength of perceived threats against him, only to realize how short-sighted his assessment was of the situation when the son is found brutally tortured and murdered, in Tokyo Kill, the second thriller in this series by Barry Lancet.
Akira Miura had fought in World War II, stationed along the Manchurian front. He and his men admittedly committed war crimes in the name of Emperor, and have been trying to make it up to the Chinese people ever since. But lately the families of two of the men who served with him have been slaughtered in what the police are politely calling "home invasions"; Miura believes it is the work of the Triads, a Chinese gang operating in Tokyo, who have decided that the time is right to exact retribution for the criminal acts of this group of men that took place nearly seventy years ago.
Brody assigns a security team to Miura, but shares his private thoughts with his son Yoji that he doesn't believe the threats are that serious. Yoji tends to agree with him, but that is the last time they would speak. Later than night, Yoji is found dead in an alleyway, his head bashed in, his arm severed, the hallmarks of a Triad's execution.
The action comes fast and furious in Tokyo Kill, and the storyline continues at a breathless pace throughout. There is a kind of sweeping, cinematic style here that would seem to make the transition to a screenplay — if one were so inclined to do so — a relatively easy one. There are, too, frequent brief stops to provide context for a particular scene or situation, to explain a Japanese phrase or custom, or to fill in a few details via backstory; most of these are useful and helpful but they do abruptly break up the flow, resulting in a kind of choppy narrative. The primary plot is well-structured and intriguingly unfolds in an unpredictable manner. It's easy to miss the (in retrospect fairly obvious, hidden in plain sight) clues that might have helped foretell the endgame, and that's always a treat for a reader.
What doesn't quite work is the integration of Brody's second career, that of an art and antiques dealer, into the story. There are references here and there, and they do play a role in the outcome, but giving them more emphasis would have added an interesting layer to what is still an exciting, nonstop action thriller.
Acknowledgment: Simon & Schuster provided a copy of Tokyo Kill for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Tokyo Kill: Tokyo, Japan; Miami, Florida; Barbados
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Tokyo Kill by Barry Lancet — A Jim Brodie Thriller
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: September 2014
List Price: $25.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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