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In 1945 a Japanese officer, General Tomoyuki Yamashita, buried valuable spoils of war in a network of tunnels throughout the Philippine Islands. Maps were drawn of the locations, and plans were made to return to the sites after the war to collect the treasures. However, after his arrest by the American forces and subsequent execution in 1946, all trace of the maps had vanished. The Mystery of Yamashita's Map takes this wartime legend and moulds it into a fast-paced thriller, combining history, science, myth and mystery into a heady combination that is hard to put down. Joe Hutchins, an American adventurer is enlisted by Professor Okada to help him decipher a map that has come into his possession.
Since acquiring the map the professor is haunted by strange dreams and visions that both terrify and excite him. Only Joe can lead him to the tunnels, and to what is concealed inside. Follow Professor Okada and his companions as they engage in a madcap dangerous race to find Yamashita's gold - pursued by the ruthless and cruel gangland boss Tanaka. However, other mysterious forces are at work. Tanaka it seems, is not the only one who desires to thwart them in their quest. Combining the adventure of Indiana Jones with the mystery of TV's Lost, The Mystery of Yamashita's Map is a real page-turner.
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James McKenzie was born in Newport, Fife, Scotland. During the 1980s he worked in the Philippines, where he had a very prolific career in B-movie actioners, many of them made for Silver Star Film Co. (called Kinavesa in the Philippines), produced by K.Y. Lim. He had small parts in a few Hollywood movies with such stars as Chuck Norris, Linda Blair, Chris Penn, George Takei and Jackie Chan. The Philippines was a popular location for low-budget films because the costs of production were lower than in many surrounding countries. It was especially attractive to producers of war pictures because of its similarity to Vietnam. For action pictures, Manila Bay often would stand in for Miami, having a similar look. Over the decade McKenzie appeared in countless Filipino features and some Italian productions that were shot in the country. His clean-cut looks meant he was often cast as a pilot, doctor or policeman. He moved to Hong Kong in 1990, where he worked in many local productions before moving to Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1997. The idea for his book, "The Mystery of Yamashita's Map", was conceived while working in the Far East. The novel was launched at the London Book Fair and went on to enjoy considerable success, especially in Japan where George Takei (Star Trek (1966), Heroes (2006)) featured it on his fan website.
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