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The Reluctant Ronin

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Reluctant Ronin.pdf | Language: English

After a picture of Otani and his family is discovered on a dead woman's body, Otani's wife confesses she once saw the woman kissing Otani's son-in-law

Superintendent Tetsuo Otani of the Kobe Police Force is back for his ninth appearance. A Dutch woman named Marianna van Wijk has been killed under mysterious circumstances during a fire. The fire is linked to a yakuza gang and, unfortunately, the woman is linked to Otani's son-in-law, Akira Shimizu, who has disappeared. While Otani officially removes himself from the case because of the family connection, he directs his subordinates from behind the scenes. The dead woman had been studying in Japan under a business scholarship program, so the investigation leads to a pharmaceutical company she was working with and to her roommate, Penny Johnston, who is having an affair with the company's research director. Gang conflicts and drugs enter the picture, with another complication Akira's past as a radical student. Otani delves for the truth while trying to salvage his only child's shaky marriage. Melville (The Wages of Zen) turns in his usual superb performance, with his unerring eye for telling detail and his flair for depicting the nuances of modern Japanese life. Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book details

  • PDF | 208 pages
  • Scribner; 1st edition (May 18, 1988)
  • English
  • 4
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Sakuteiki on July 12, 2017

    Right wing organized crime religious affectations, real estate insurance fraud, money laundering, arson, profitable designer pharmaceuticals, adultery, vanity, insecure offended dignity of the uncertain and incompetent Reluctant Ronin is 10th in the 13 book Superintendent Otani series covering ages 40-70 of Tetsuo and Hanae Otani starting with #1 The Wages of Zen. The Otani marriage evolves from traditional Japanese male chauvinism of mid-twentieth century through the roaring 1990s, with Supt Otani allowing for glimmering awareness of the presence and perhaps even competence of females, most personally through the 1960s political Maoist activism of his daughter Akiko, and gradually through the assertiveness of wife Hanae. Prejudice against gaijin, foreigners, and loyalty to lifelong supportive family friends, also suffers abrasion through experience #2 A Sort of Samurai.As individuals, as a family, as a country, its culture, police procedure, the interaction of prefectural police and the NPA National Police Agency in Tokyo and the CIA equivalent, all undergo evolution and reshuffling of priorities and spheres of influence through the series. The Yakuza organized crime syndicates, the underworld of the poor marginalized excluded minorities Burakumin, the vile, the kind, the unnoticed grammas hanging out windows watching the streets all day long, everyone has their role in the series. Each character is woven and rewoven throughout the storyline. What a wonderful film series this would make.Dense, architecturally well engineered series, writing is exceptional with words, adjectives, adverbs thrown in at odd moments to spice up the emotional color of the scenes. 5*

  • By moderatelymoderate on April 8, 2016

    Unbeknown to the Otanis their son-in-law has been acting differently toward his wife and little boy since their return from living in London, more distant and staying out until late at night. This isn't atypical Japanese male behavior, but wasn't his style at all. Then ... [but you'll have to read it for yourself].At the police station, Otani's newest department is adjusting more to Otani's loose style, which Otani appreciated. While not my favorite in the series, it still is excellent.

  • By Gene J. on March 19, 2015

    I have read most of Melvilles books and I treasure them all since it gives me such an intimate view of a part of Japanese culture. I appreciate the author's wonderful treatments of the Japanese countryside and culture. Though I have not visited Japan, and would love to do so, these books help me in my vicarious trips to the land. Many many many thanks.

  • By Guest on December 20, 2016

    I loved this whole series. Good characters, classic mystey style, good writing. I learned so much about Japanese culture today.

  • By oldvet on December 7, 2011

    Inspector Otani novels have to be read by any serious detective story maven. The book came in great condition. Good turn around time.

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