Series: Jim Brodie #2
Format Read: Hardcover
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 9, 2014
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Blurb from goodreads:
In the second thriller of this new series from “a fresh voice in crime fiction” (Kirkus Reviews), antiques dealer-turned-P.I. Jim Brodie matches wits with an elusive group of killers chasing a long-lost treasure that has a dangerous history.
When an elderly World War II veteran shows up unannounced at Brodie Security begging for protection, the staff thinks he’s just a paranoid old man. He offers up a story connected to the war and to Chinese Triads operating in present-day Tokyo, insisting that he and his few surviving army buddies are in danger.
Fresh off his involvement in solving San Francisco’s Japantown murders, antiques dealer Jim Brodie had returned to Tokyo for some R&R, and to hunt down a rare ink painting by the legendary Japanese Zen master Sengai for one of his clients—not to take on another case with his late father’s P.I. firm. But out of respect for the old soldier, Brodie agrees to provide a security detail, thinking it’ll be an easy job and end when the man comes to his senses.
Instead, an unexpected, brutal murder rocks Brodie and his crew, sending them deep into the realm of the Triads, Chinese spies, kendo warriors, and an elusive group of killers whose treachery spans centuries—and who will stop at nothing to complete their mission.
I am on a hot streak lately of finding new to me suspense and thriller authors. My newest find is Barry Lancet. His hero lives part-time in Japan and part-time in the US. In Japan, he co-owns and runs his late father's security company while in the US he owns and runs a high-end.art and antique store. He's still learning about security work and relies heavily on his employees who are also partners.
"Tokyo Kill" is set entirely in Japan, a country and culture I know little about it. It is a fascinating place, judging by this book, and the author's love and respect for it come through clearly. He takes what is likely a touchy subject, World War II and the part that both Japan and China played in it and makes it the center of the story. Add in the tales of an emperor's lost treasure, love, romance, treachery, and family ties and Lancet gives us a complex. layered, complicated story that never lets up.
Lancet keeps the pace rolling with neither the reader nor the hero, Jim, having much time for a breather. Despite the fast-pace, Lance doesn't lose sight of his characters as people. The story may be action driven but there are also tender moments with Jim's daughter, a potential girl friend, and even his employees. He has a strong sense of justice, loyalty, and compassion. Those drive much of his actions and decisions during the story and it's a hard shock for him when he discovers that those beliefs and emotions have been used against him. There are so many twists and turns, and layers, that sometimes I had trouble keeping up but it was worth the effort. I loved that Lancet took some standard cliches and tropes such as
Triads and ninjas and made them fresh. He also isn't afraid to kill people off and one death in particular saddened me despite the fact that we really didn't see all that much of him while he was alive.
Take a chance on Lancet, you won't regret it. "Tokyo Kills" is compelling, original story telling with remarkable characters that will keep you reading until the end.