Friday, May 09, 2008
"tokyo" by Mo Hayder
Quick: Very gruesome, hard to put down thriller set in Asia.
Recently I randomly chose "tokyo" simply because of the title since I hadn't heard of the author before. What a fantastic find! This book has turned out to be my favorite I have read this year.
The story takes place partially in Nanking, China and Tokyo, Japan in two alternating story arcs that eventually meld together perfectly. Many writers have based their stories in Tokyo, Japan but few have actually been able to accurately describe Tokyo and bring a feeling of Japan with them. Since the author has lived and worked in Tokyo she has brought a feeling of authenticity with her that is refreshing. I used to live there as well and little details scattered through the story brought me right back in memory.
The first story line follows the fall of Nanking, China to the Japanese and the atrocities that were committed there after take over. There arent too many books available that give some history of the Rape of Nanking and many readers may not even be familiar with the history at all. The Nanking storyline goes into gruesome details and can be very unsettling at times.
The main character is an English woman named "Grey" who has gone to Tokyo to find missing film footage from the fall of Nanking. She works as a bar hostess while attempting to track down the missing film. While she is there she meets a Yakuza boss and just how does he fit in with her quest?
Tokyo is a literally "a page turner". I couldn't put it down, many people may find it too violent or graphic because Mo Hayder does not mess around. The characters are well done and interesting, the story is fast paced and exciting. All in all, I will be searching out more books from this author!