Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review: Japantown by Barry Lancet

Won Through a Goodreads Giveaway

I should have opened this book upon receiving it in the mail but in the interest of me being a slacker I decided to put it on the back-burner. Big Mistake! Huge!(In my Pretty Woman voice to those snobby Rodeo Drive women.) Japantown by Barry Lancet is what I look for in all thrillers. A great plot that has all the bells and whistles such as dead bodies, major butt-kicking, and impossibly awesome villains is nonnegotiable. Thank you Barry Lancet for fulfilling this criteria.

An antique dealer, Jim Brodie, is asked to consult with the San Francisco PD on a recent murder of a Japanese family. Because of his expertise in all things Japan, he's the go to guy. He's also part-owner of his deceased father's PI firm in Japan. Immediately Brodie notices there is something very calculated and expert about this killing. Similar to his wife's death, there is a kanji note found at the murder. Ultimately, his investigation places him in a dangerous position that threatens the life of his friends and his only living relative.

Barry Lancet uses his knowledge of Japanese culture and the language to writeJapantown. This debut novel is descriptive, absorbing, and thrilling. Suffice it to say it does not read like a debut novel. Lancet scraps unnecessary dialogue for a more intelligent thriller. Instead of littering the pages with failed one-liners, Lancet goes for a more believable approach with a strong pivotal character.

Japantown shifts focus between Jim Brodie's narratives and a third party view of the bad guys movements. It is not clear how the two are related but we are privy to the understanding that Jim has definitely pissed the wrong guy off. As more layers of mystery are unraveled, the tension is palpable. The world of high-stakes business is a lot more deadly than one would have thought.

Barry Lancet is a great new voice in the thriller genre. I hope his next novel is just as good as Japantown. It's an in-depth look at Japanese culture, business, and values. Sign me up for his next book. PLEASE!?!   ****

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