A first mystery in which Japanese gangsters, the CIA, and an American linguistics student, who's earning her fare home as a hostess at the Club Chocho, lead each other a lively chase--a chase that moves from Tokyo to Kyoto and back again. Gathering various dialects for her graduate research, pretty Nora James surreptitiously tapes some of her nightclub customers, who then kidnap her and bring her to the headquarters of Mengele-like drug experimenter Mitsumori, working under the orders of the nefarious Takasugi. But Nora escapes into the arms of another customer, Nishi Kenzaburo, whose manuscript exposing the druglord has been stolen. On the lam, the two run afoul of radical terrorists, more torturing gangsters, and, of course, CIA operatives who swear they're the good guys but leave plenty of room for doubt. Several deaths later, Nora and Nishi again find themselves in the Club Chocho--and barely flee with their lives. The fanciful plot strains belief, but McFall renders Japanese customs, manners, mores, etc., with much charm.