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The year is 2006. Global recession is spreading and Japan is sunk in economic and social crisis. While Japan is weakening, China is growing ever stronger. A secret group headed by an aged war hero plots to destabilize relations between Japan and the United States in order to strengthen China's position in Asia and ultimately to achieve world hegemony.
Once considered one of the safest cities in the world, Tokyo is plagued by a rising crime rate, regular security alerts, and increased homelessness and poverty. Riding on an unprecedented wave of popular opinion and support, ultranationalist celebrity politician Tsuyoshi Nozawa campaigns to break the military alliance with the U.S. and make Japan a nuclear power.
While closely following Nozawa's progress, journalist Martine Meyer receives mysterious emails predicting fatal "accidents" and begins to suspect a conspiracy. As she struggles to deal with a pompous new bureau chief and begins to realize that her love affair with microbrewery owner Makoto is on the verge of either blossoming or wilting, Martine finds herself drawn into a sinister web of events that lead her ultimately face-to-face with the barrel of a terrorist's gun.
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Though this new thriller from Tasker (Samurai Boogie) is a mixed bag, it does boast a winning premise. Backed by a powerful Chinese general and capitalizing on Japan's economic malaise and discontent, terrorist Reiko Matsubara plots a political revolution that will make Japan a nuclear power and undermine the country's cozy relationship with the U.S. The plan is to carefully orchestrate the political career of a popular entertainer, a sort of Japanese Ronald Reagan, until he becomes a figurehead prime minister controlled by Matsubara's sinister terrorist group. Martine Meyer, an American reporter for a U.S. newspaper, is a longtime resident of Japan who has influential contacts at every level of Japanese society. When she begins investigating the entertainer, Tsuyoshi Nozawa, and the peculiar people who surround him, a mysterious source feeds her information by e-mail, giving her a warning of tragedies to come: a black American soldier is framed for the murder of a Japanese child; a U.S. military plane crashes in a heavily populated area; there are poisonings at a popular food outlet. The scads of subplots include Meyer's love affair with a Japanese microbrewery owner and the story of a young Japanese woman married to a wealthy Caucasian businessman. The setup takes virtually the entire book, with the real action limited to the final 20 pages. There are some preposterous plot twists, but overall Tasker delivers a readable thriller with plenty of local color and a sharp sense of the cultural mood of early 21st-century Japan.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"... a fascinating mystery and a compelling tale of the Byzantine relationships that characterize international coexistence." -- Bruce Tierney, Bookpage.com
(The) twists and turns evoke memories of Richard Condon's 1959 masterpiece, "The Manchurian Candidate." -- The Japan Times
...a fascinating mystery and a compelling tale of the Byzantine relationships that characterize international coexistence. -- BookPage
An Orwellian vision for sure, but one with a whisper of verisimilitude we can believe. -- The Asahi Herald
An absorbing and visceral read. -- The Daily Yomiuri
As usual with Japanese-thriller expert Tasker, the real fun is in the superb local scenery... -- Kirkus Reviews
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Book Description Kodansha Amer Inc, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M4770029489
Book Description Kodansha International (JPN), 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P114770029489