Leopard

Richard La Plante, Author
Richard La Plante, Author Forge $21.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-85532-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8125-3020-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 388 pages - 978-0-7515-0135-3
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4975-9060-1
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La Plante sets most of his taut new martial arts/police thriller, a sequel to Mantis , around Philadelphia medical examiner Josef Tanaka's Tokyo family and the friends and fiancee whom he rescued from brutal attack in the earlier book. Eighteen years ago, Tanaka accidentally paralyzed his samurai stepbrother, Hironori, in a karate match and fled his guilt and his Japanese father's ire to stake out a medical career in his American mother's homeland. Now the news that Hironori has died calls the expatriate back to Tokyo, accompanied by his fiancee, Rachel, a surgeon still deeply troubled by the Mantis's depraved assault on her. Then Tanaka learns that his brother was murdered and that his industrialist father is being blackmailed. A frantic phone call to Philadelphia police lieutenant Bill Fogarty, who helped Tanaka solve the Mantis case, spurs the cop to Tokyo to help his friend. After more offspring of pro-Western industrialists are gruesomely murdered, Tanaka and Fogarty make forays into the Japanese underworld and tangle with Tokyo cops, learning of a police cover-up, a killer called ``the Leopard'' and right-wing extremist activity--but they're deported just as they're closing in on the truth. Back in Philadelphia, Tanaka, racked by guilt and questions of identity, leaves Rachel, his job and ``impure'' Western ways to construct a traditional Japanese sanctum within a row house. A bloody finale brings matters to an exciting close. (Aug.)
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