The Reluctant Ronin

James Melville, Author Scribner Book Company $15.95 (206p) ISBN 978-0-684-18947-5
Superintendent Tetsuo Otani of the Kobe Police Force is back for his ninth appearance. A Dutch woman named Marianna van Wijk has been killed under mysterious circumstances during a fire. The fire is linked to a yakuza gang and, unfortunately, the woman is linked to Otani's son-in-law, Akira Shimizu, who has disappeared. While Otani officially removes himself from the case because of the family connection, he directs his subordinates from behind the scenes. The dead woman had been studying in Japan under a business scholarship program, so the investigation leads to a pharmaceutical company she was working with and to her roommate, Penny Johnston, who is having an affair with the company's research director. Gang conflicts and drugs enter the picture, with another complication Akira's past as a radical student. Otani delves for the truth while trying to salvage his only child's shaky marriage. Melville (The Wages of Zen) turns in his usual superb performance, with his unerring eye for telling detail and his flair for depicting the nuances of modern Japanese life. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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