Japan Town


Unlike my previous review of Inspector Imanishi, Japan Town was published in 2013 by the American author, Barry Lancet.

Lancet’s book is a fast paced mystery that travels from the US to Japan and back. Lancet is qualified to write this story, having lived in Japan for nearly three decades.

The main character is Jim Brodie who runs an antique shop in San Francisco and owns a private investigation firm in Tokyo where he trained with his father.

Because of his expertise on Japan, he is called to a crime scene in Japan Town of San Francisco where a prominent Japanese citizen and his family lie in their own blood. Also in the blood is a very specific Japanese character, a copy of which had been left at the murder site of his wife.

At that opening scene, we, the readers, are also informed that Brodie has been spotted by the killers. The rest of the book is move and counter-move, with the bad guys always one step ahead. Until the end of course.

Having read the book right after reading the 1961 Japanese written Inspector Imanishi Investigates, I enjoyed seeing the cultural changes in Japan over the decades, as well as the different perspectives of the two authors.

Mike Lawrence

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