The second appearance of L.A. computer programmer and reluctant sleuth Ken Tanaka is more travelogue than mystery. Publicity over his crime-solving role in his first outing (Death in Little Tokyo) nets Tanaka an invitation to Japan to take part in a television program called News Pop. Downsized out of his day job, the third-generation Japanese American jumps at the chance to visit the land of his ancestors. His eagerness to share every detail of the trip is at first charming, but it quickly palls in the absence of compelling plot development. Observations of the country and city are generally flat, and few of the culture-revealing anecdotes sustain interest: one of these describes a waitress dropping noodles into a cold stream above a restaurant and then rushing down to pluck them out of the water with chopsticks. Neither Furutani's lengthy digressions into virtually every aspect of Japanese life nor the plot--about Tanaka's half-hearted investigation of attempts to steal a group of legendary swords and the efforts of some to stop him--is strong enough to carry this tale. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997 Release date: 10/01/1997 Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 224 pages - 978-0-312-96667-6
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