Five Bodies. One Clue. Not a Trace of the Killer.
San Francisco antiques dealer Jim Brodie recently inherited a stake in his father’s Tokyo-based private investigation firm, which means the single father of six-year-old Jenny is living a busy intercontinental life, traveling to Japan to acquire art and artifacts for his store and consulting on Brodie Security’s caseload at home and abroad.
One night, an entire family is gunned down in San Francisco’s bustling Japantown neighborhood, and Brodie is called on by the SFPD to decipher the lone clue left at the crime scene: a unique Japanese character printed on a slip of paper drenched in blood.
Brodie can’t read the clue. But he may have seen it before - at the scene of his wife’s death in a house fire four years ago.
With his deep array of Asian connections and fluency in Japanese, Brodie sets out to solve a seemingly perfect crime and at the same time learn whether his wife’s tragic death was more than just an accident. And as he unravels a web of intrigue stretching back centuries and connected to the murders in San Francisco, the Japantown killer retaliates with a new target: Brodie’s daughter.
©2013 Barry Lancet (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
I hesitated before buying this book since it is Barry Lancet's first published. This is one of the best first books I've ever read/listened to.
I did a little research and Lancet is an expert on the Japanese culture and on traveling abroad and it really shows in this book. His expertise comes through in this story making it satisfyingly deep and complex and filled with super interesting facts and details that just drive this story. Swept-up is the word I would use. This story and action build up at a speed and level so that I was truly swept up in the story from beginning to end.
The main character, Brodie has great depth. He has characteristics that make you like him and invest in him right away and then more and more unfold as the story goes along. Brodie's background is also developed so that you really believe all the action as that builds as the story goes.
The action is awesome. It's well-paced, easy to follow and picture as it unfolds, and really keeps you on the edge of your seat.
I've never heard the narrator Newbern before, he gets five stars too. He did a really nice job keeping the voices separate and not screwing up the accents and women's voices.
I hope this book and Lancet get discovered.
To me the whole story seemed contrived and unrealistic. I felt as though this was mystery by the numbers. This wasn't my cup of tea but someone else might like it.
No, I like mysteries but this one just wasn't for me. I did learn things about Japanese culture, which I appreciate.
The narrator has a nice voice but to me came across as flat and uninspired. Competent work though.
I felt all the characters lacked depth. Rather than cut a character I would like to have seen the main characters developed more fully -- what motivates them at a deep level?
I didn't read the print version. It's unabridged so I assume so.
I hope this becomes a series.
There were not a lot of surprises in this book, but I did enjoy the story. The author definitely knows Japan and Japanese. Unfortunately, the narrator does not. There were a lot of Japanese locations and phrases used throughout the book, and the constant mispronunciations became a bit annoying. This will only be a sticking point if you happen to be familiar with the sounds of spoken Japanese. Otherwise, I thought the narrator voiced the characters well.
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