Bad Blood

Anthony Bruno, Author Putnam Publishing Group $19.95 (252p) ISBN 978-0-399-13432-6
By coincidence, Bruno (whose Bad Guys earned high praise) has also written a thriller featuring the Yakuza and the mob (see review above). His effort, however, is everything a suspense novel should be--a highly credible, tautly paced stunner. A young Japanese couple is found floating in the Hudson River in a VW bug, their bodies neatly sliced in half. FBI special agent Cuthbert Gibbons is called out of retirement to assist his frazzled ex-partner, Mike Tozzi, who's on probation. The trail leads to a Japanese slave ring that imports menial workers, run by the Mafia in cahoots with the Yakuza. Bruno teams a frustrated New Jersey Mafia capo with a Yakuza thug, each eager for career advancement and seething under a domineering, elderly boss. Other characters include a samurai who hacks cockroaches for target practice and two supportive girlfriends who keep the FBI men on track. The author does not romanticize his mafiosi, nor does he stereotype the honor-bound Yakuza. Developing complex characters whose rat-a-tat dialogue flashes, he leavens the suspense with dark humor and builds to a slam-bang finale. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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