In the third big case taking him from his home in San Francisco to his native Japan, antiques dealer–cum-detective Jim Brodie tracks down the killers who have been knocking off the members of a friend's family.
Brodie, who inherited the Tokyo-based investigative agency of his American father, badly wants to stay at home looking after his adorable 6-year-old daughter and selling rare ceramic pieces. But after the son of prominent artist Ken Nobuki is murdered, Nobuki himself is shot by a sniper, and other family members are targeted, the bilingual detective travels to Washington, D.C., to protect Nobuki's daughter, Naomi. A well-known reporter, she has made significant enemies with her anti–nuclear power crusades—including, apparently, higher-ups in various U.S. agencies. After being attacked by a guy with knives in Nobuki's hospital room back in San Francisco, Brodie flies off to Tokyo, where he is reunited with Rie, a Tokyo cop with whom he has a budding romance (his wife was murdered), and Noda, the taciturn lead detective at Brodie Security. Brodie's homecoming is spoiled by a scary yakuza member called TNT who forecasts his death and a legendary assassin called Steam Walker who is said never to fail on the job. As ever, Lancet stages some good fight scenes—no one gets beaten up as well as Brodie—and keeps the action going. But while the book is a decent addition to the series, a certain predictability is taking hold of the plotting. Could be that Lancet needs to settle on one locale or find a new one.
The third Jim Brodie thriller is a solid, action-filled effort but lacks the edgy excitement of the first and best installment, Japantown (2013).