When five members of a Tokyo family are murdered in San
Francisco's Japantown, the police bring in Jim Brodie, a
private investigator/antiques dealer proficient in
Japanese, to decipher the only clue left behind -- a piece
of paper displaying an unusual Japanese character, called a
kanji, written on it. Brodie is familiar with the kanji,
since it is identical to one he found at the house fire
that killed his wife, Mieko, several years ago. Could his
wife's death be connected to this case in some way? Is it
the work of a serial killer, or is something even more
sinister going on?
Jim Brodie is an American who spent the first 17 years of
his life in Tokyo being raised by a rough and rugged Irish-
American father and an American mother who loved art.
Brodie's expertise with antiques came from her, while his
father taught him the law enforcement trade, eventually
leaving Brodie his half of a Tokyo-based PI/security firm.
This background gives Brodie a unique niche in San
Francisco and Tokyo.
When Brodie is hired by a Tokyo business mogul to find out
who murdered his family in Japantown, the investigation
leads Brodie and his operatives to the brutal Soga, a
secret society of Japanese assassins. Launched by a
renegade samurai general three centuries ago, the Soga will
do whatever it takes to protect themselves. With their
covert enterprise in danger of exposure, the Soga target
Brodie, as well as everyone connected to him, as the body
Having lived and worked for several decades in Japan,
Barry Lancet's skillful writing of Japanese culture
and history is certainly evident in JAPANTOWN, his debut
international thriller. As the first book in his dynamic
Jim Brodie series, JAPANTOWN is a tense, gripping novel
loaded with lots of nail-biting action and suspense. The
mystery is rock-solid with multifaceted plotting and vivid
characterization that benefits immensely from the
atmospheric narrative. I also reviewed -- and greatly
enjoyed -- the second Jim Brodie thriller, TOKYO KILLS,
which is currently available for your reading enjoyment.
Now, I am ready for the next Jim Brodie thriller!
San Francisco antiques dealer Jim Brodie receives a call
one night from a friend at the SFPD: an entire family has
been senselessly gunned down in the Japantown neighborhood
of the bustling city. As an American born and raised in
Japan and part-owner of his father’s Tokyo private
investigation firm, Brodie has advised the local police in
the past, but the near-perfect murders in Japantown are
like nothing he’s ever encountered.
With his array of Asian contacts and fluency in Japanese,
Brodie follows leads gathered from a shadow powerbroker, a
renegade Japanese detective, and the elusive tycoon at the
center of the Japantown murders along a trail that takes
him from the crime scene in California to terrorized
citizens and informants in Japan. Step-by-step, he
a web of intrigue stretching back centuries and unearths a
deadly secret that threatens not only his life but also
lives of his entire circle of family and friends.