Black Dragon

Kirk Mitchell, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (410p) ISBN 978-0-312-01774-3
In addition to being a fast-paced thriller laced with intrigue and murder, this is also a provocative look at the shameful treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. In 1944, Lt. Jared Campbell, head of military police at the Manzanar, Calif., internment camp, finds the body of issei (Japan-born) Masao Shido, apparently a case of seppuku (ritual suicide). Campbell then discovers the headless corpse of the camp's Quaker director. With the help of camp police-chief Hank Fukuda, an American-trained criminologist, Campbell tries to solve the mystery. Suspicion centers on Maj. Tadashi (Eddie) Nitta, a one-armed veteran of the Italian campaign. Some complications arise (an aqueduct near Manzanar is bombed by Japanese explosives) and some are built in (Campbell and Nitta's wife Kimiko are in love). Outsiders Campbell, an Okie escaping from the Dust Bowl, and Fukuda, a nisei torn by two cultures, team up to uncover a land-grab scheme directed against Japanese-American property owners. Fighting powers high in the Fourth Army, Campbell becomes a fugitive in a race to save both Fukuda and Kimiko from the insane killer. This is a bleak and effective book that does not gild the sorry racism of the times. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-20469-5
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