Books by Richard Setlowe

Released: July 1, 1999

First-rate adult melodrama about the globalization of entertainment and communications networks, not to mention intellectual and spiritual maturity in high finance. Attorney Peter Saxon, representing an American communications conglomerate, flies to Tokyo to seduce Kuribayashi Electronics into a merger. A trillion-dollar return awaits the dominant company that gets the world rewired for HDTV, the biggest event in communications since color television, and Peter wants Kuribayashi to help with the revamping of communications necessary to build up HDTV. As it happens, his business quest turns out to involve certain spiritual issues about the nature of time, obligations, and duties that are just as important as the huge bundles of credit involved. The night before Peter arrives, the man with whom he is supposed to open discussions is murdered with a samurai sword. Kuribayashi, it seems, has ties with the Yakuza, who themselves have moral obligations. The novel's title stems from an incident during Peter's youth. Some 30 years ago, he and his closest buddy, Tommy Cochran, were US fighter pilots stationed in Tokyo, from which they bombed and strafed Vietnam. Out one night with two beautiful Japanese women, they were attacked by an anti-American mob. Peter was deeply attracted to Lilli (not her real name) and is convinced she is now the wife of one the Japanese businessmen attached to Kuribayashi Electronics. His pursuit of her leads to castrated genitals being nailed to his hotel room door, a girl's murder, an attack in a Zen temple, and so on. Tommy has become a Zen monk and assists Peter as his spiritual authority in dealing with Japanese industry giants who do not have the same business motivation as Peter's company. Lucky readers who first discover Setlowe here (The Black Sea, 1991, etc.) will delight in knowing that some thrillers can be great fun and for grownups at the same time. Read full book review >
THE BLACK SEA by Richard Setlowe
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

Malayan terrorists seize and hide a Soviet cruise ship and its cargo of rich Americans, among whom is the former secretary of state, in an ingenious thriller by the author of The Experiment (1980) and The Haunting of Suzanna Blackwell (1984). Arms for hostages is the deal proposed by Tengku Haji Azhar, the handsome, charismatic Malayan who—thanks to the encouragement of his smarter but uglier cousin and co-plotter—believes he is just the man to lead a Muslim political renaissance in southern Asia and Oceania. The cousins have recruited a gang of Malaccan pirates and, with very little trouble, seized The Black Sea, a posh new Russian liner, then hidden the ship in an uncharted jungle river just a day after its departure from Singapore. Tengku gets the attention of the Singaporean, American, and Soviet governments with the delivery of a recently detached head of a crew member and a shopping list of weapons the terrorists would like to have delivered in return for not detaching more. With a fresh Soviet or American head arriving every day in Singapore, the three governments feel a bit of pressure to do something. Working for the Americans are the very capable captain and crew of the U.S.S. Decatur, a frigate operating in the area, and Mr. Yee, a very cool and rather mysterious aide to the president of Singapore. Time is working against them—as are the hungry local crocodiles and the rising hysteria of the passengers. Fortunately for everybody, one of the ship's tour guides is Maggi Chancellor, a pretty American who speaks the terrorists' language and who has caught the eye of Tengku. Ms. Chancellor has no intention of spending her life in the jungle.... Great fun. Fresh gimmicks and scenery skillfully assembled in a very slick package. Never palls. Read full book review >