Pacific Burn is the third novel in the Jim Brodie Japantown mystery thrillers written by Barry Lancet. The protagonist, Jim Brodie is an Oriental antiques dealer in San Francisco specializing in Japanese antiques. He also moonlights as a private investigator. In the novel, an unknown sniper deliberately targets his close friend, artist Ken Nobuki who ends up in a coma. Brodie knows this isn’t just a random crime when members of Nobuki’s family are being murdered one by one by a secretive and feared assassin called the Shadow Walker. Since Nobuki is Brodie’s close friend, Brodie feels like it is his duty to investigate and get to the bottom of the mystery while also saving the remaining members of Nobuki’s family. In addition, not only Brodie must go against the Shadow Walker, but also against the CIA, FBI, and the DHS who have their own designs on the case.
Just like the first two of Lancet’s books, Japantown and Tokyo Kill, Pacific Burn is a gritty thriller novel. The author, having lived in Japan for many years, delivers an authentic portrayal of Japanese culture. Throughout the book, the reader learns about cosplay and manga, eats fugu – a dish made from pufferfish, and takes in the beautiful Japanese countryside interspersed with volcanoes.
The plot of the book is highly suspenseful as the main character jets back and forth between Japan and the United States, all while trying to solve the case. In addition to the intricate plot, the characters are very well developed as the reader gets to learn each one’s motivations and psyche and how they relate to the story overall.
I would highly recommend this book to anybody who enjoys a good thriller novel and is fascinated with Japanese art and culture.
Simon & Schuster