Japantown (A Jim Brodie Novel) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2014/7/22
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5つの遺体と、誰も読み解けないたった1つの手がかり サンフランシスコのジャパンタウン。ある一家が惨殺された夜、古美術商かつ私立探偵のジム・ブローディは市警の友人から一本の電話を受ける。日本で生まれ育った日本事情に詳しいアメリカ人として、ブローディは今まで地元の警察に数多くの助言をしていたが、今回ジャパンタウンで起きた完全犯罪に近い殺人事件は彼の経験を凌駕するものだった。 アジア方面での広範な交友関係と流暢な日本語を駆使して、硬派な日本人探偵や陰の実力者、そして事件の中心にいる大資本家から手がかりを得て、一つ一つ丹念に痕跡を追っていくブローディ。それらは、カリフォルニアの事件現場から遠く離れた日本へと彼を引き寄せる。 ついに驚くべき事実を掘り起こしてしまうブローディ。しかし、引き返すにももはやその術はなく、先に進むしか道は残されていない。そして自分のみならず、愛する家族と友人の命すべてが危機にさらされる、ある恐ろしい真実に正面から向き合うことになる――。
“Best of Debut of the Year” —Suspense Magazine
Shortlisted for the Barry Award for Best Debut Novel
Optioned for TV by J.J. Abrams & Warner Bros.
In this “sophisticated international thriller” (The New York Times Book Review), an American antiques-dealer-turned-reluctant-private-eye must use his knowledge of Japanese culture to unravel a major murder in San Francisco—before he and his daughter become targets themselves.
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 unravels a web of intrigue stretching back centuries and unearths a deadly secret that threatens not only his life but also the lives of his entire circle of family and friends. “Readers will want to see more of the talented Jim Brodie, with his expertise in Japanese culture, history, and martial arts” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
Jim Brodie was born in Japan to American parents. He went to Japanese schools and integrated the Japanese society as well as any Gaijin (foreigner) is allowed and has a great expertise in Japanese culture, history, and martial arts. He shares his time as a dealer in Japanese art and antiques in San Francisco with running his late father's Tokyo-based private investigation firm.
When five members of a rich and powerful Japanese family are gunned down assassination-style at a pedestrian mall in San Francisco's Japantown, Lieutenant Frank Renna from the SFPD asks for Brodie's help in deciphering a single Japanese Kanji character (a complex logographic which is part of the most complex Japanese writing system) left on a scrap of paper at the scene. What is chilling to Jim is that he had seen the same obscure and unidentifiable Kanji at the scene of a fire which destroyed the life of his wife Meiko.
Having lived 2 years as a true Gaijin in Tokyo, working and living with the Japanese I was fascinated by Lancet's fantastic perception of Japanese life, traditions and society from growing up in Japan in a similar way to fictional Brodie. I got lost when Brodie discovered that the Kanji led him to the ruthless and powerful Soga clan, the product of an ancient conspiracy (akin to the scope of the Da Vinci Code) that had its violent tentacles entangled around the most influential parts of Japanese business and government. I got further lost when Brodie and his PI firm took on the powerful Saga almost singlehanded.
What started out looking like an outstanding début thriller ended up as an almost unbelievable David and Goliath story. Despite this, because Lancet is undoubtedly a very talented author with an amazing understanding of Japanese life, I look forward to reading his next book, Tokyo Kill: A Thriller (A Jim Brodie Novel) to see if he fulfills the promise shown in the first part of this book.
The reason I couldn't rate the novel higher is the third act of the book completely falls apart. Like many newer authors Lancet falls into the trap of rushing all his plot points to a conclusion and many of them are completely unnecessary or unbelievable. Even down to the manufactured fist fight between the head bad guy at the end. Even the twist of who is working for the bad guys falls completely on its face because it comes out of left field and resolves a plot line that could have been more interesting in a second book.
All in all its a mixed bag.
This is a remarkable thriller, full of excitement and drama.
Jim Brodie is an antiques dealer who has inherited an upscale detective agency from his now deceased father.
When called to the scene of the slaying of an entire family, he is horrified along with the detectives on the case. When a Kanji is found at the scene, Brodie’s interest is piqued.
Traveling between San Francisco and Japan, Brodie seeks the answers. Brodie’s growing up in Japan only adds to the interest of the story.
This book is fast paced and full of historical tidbits that add to the atmosphere.
I loved it! Barry Lancet has become one of my favorite authors.
I appreciate that Netgalley and Simon & Schuster have granted me the opportunity to read this remarkable book.
I was a little surprised at some of the negative reviews that focused on the fact the author used his knowledge of Japan, the culture and the history. I thought it made the story so much more interesting, and I really look forward to more from this author. If you hate open ended books, have no fear, this could stand alone, I just hope it won't. I just hope we will see more of these characters soon. Again, a thriller, a mystery, great characters and an education. What more you could ask for?