Clash of Honour

Robert Mendelsohn, Author Prion $0 (229p) ISBN 978-1-85375-002-1
Mendelsohn's debut is an engrossing page-turner, with solid character development and a surprising denouement. When Singapore fell in 1942, the Japanese took Lt. Derek Pritchard as a prisoner of war. Not long after, while he and another captured Englishman were pawns in a mysterious Japanese secret mission, he was killed in Thailand. Now, in 1975, his daughter Anna has come to Singapore to wreak her family's vengeance on Yoshiro Katsumata, the unsuspecting son of the officer she blames for her father's death. As readers gradually learn, however, the events surrounding Pritchard's death were not exactly as officially represented. Mendelsohn quickly captures the reader's attention with his smooth and easy style and, through a series of well-integrated flashbacks, unfolds the story of Pritchard's final days in parallel with Anna's mission of revenge. Most of the flashbacks consist of the reminiscences of either Pritchard's fellow captive, Jimmy Hedges, or Yoshiro's father's former commanding officer. It is through the stories of the latter that Yoshiro, who has been seduced by Anna, learns her true identity, a revelation that shatters his orderly life. In the end, the long-hidden truth about the way Derek Pritchard died is ironic proof of the old adage that revenge is indeed a bitter dish. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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