cover image The Kaisho

The Kaisho

Eric Van Lustbader. Pocket Books, $22 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-86806-2

Lustbader ( White Ninja , etc.) brings back Nicholas Linnear in this fast-moving thriller that combines the trademark Lustbader ingredients of Eastern mysticism and international intrigue. Because of a promise made to his father, Linnear finds himself allied to Mikio Okami, the Kaisho, or Godfather of the the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia. Linnear's mission is to protect the Kaisho from a Vietnamese assassin who has already eliminated one of Okami's allies, an American mafioso supposedly hidden under the U.S. Witness Protection Program. All of this is the result of an alliance between the Mafia and the Yakuza and machinations of the Looking Glass, a secret organization that has infiltrated the U.S. government and is dedicated to world economic control. But reproducing all the intricacies of Lustbader's plotting would be fruitless; like Robert Ludlum, Lustbader is at his best when he is creating a twisted web of intrigue, violence, double cross and his own brand of oriental esotericism. Here again he proves himself a master storyteller who creates believable characters while juggling numerous plot lines without ever losing the reader's attention. (Oct.)