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by Barry Lancet
Simon & Schuster, September 2014
326 pages
ISBN: 1451691726

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Following on from the great success of his first book in the Jim Brodie series, JAPANTOWN, Barry Lancet's second novel, TOKYO KILL, delivers the goods. He has no problem keeping the pulse racing as his art-dealer-turned-PI Jim Brodie dodges trouble while trying to protect a World War II warrior from harm.

His client is elderly, but the threats are no less real. When he approaches Brodie for protection, his son scoffs at his father's worries. However, soon the son is found dead in a Tokyo alley, and the mystery has deepened. Both father and son have dodgy backgrounds, and when Brodie begins investigating the son's murder, long hidden art treasures begin surfacing. Coincidence, or is something more sinister at work here?

The wonderful thing about this novel from Barry Lancet is that not only does the author provide plenty of thrills as the story is told, but there's fascinating detail about so many subjects related to Japanese history and art. It's apparent on every page that Lancet lived for many years himself in Japan and understands its culture well.

The book delivers on every level, both as a thriller and as a look inside an Asian culture with which many Westerners may not be familiar. There's interesting material on a range of topics, from political history to Japanese fighting styles to art, and beyond. Lancet's take on Japanese police work also provides ample food for thought.

Where the novel stumbles every so slightly is the shift in story location from Tokyo to Miami to Barbados. However, this happens as the novel is wrapping up, so it's a minor blip in an otherwise sterling


Christine Zibas is a freelance writer and former director of publications for a Chicago nonprofit.

Reviewed by Christine Zibas, October 2014

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