Lustbader has done it again. Another hit, I could not put it down.
Lustbader is listed here on the book jacket as "master of the orient," and he lives up to his reputation with a swashbuckling, globetrotting adventure story centering around his Eurasian hero Nicholas Linnear. This is the fourth Linnear book; we've already met, in addition to businessman-adventurer Linnear, his wife, Justine; his Japanese business associate, Tanzan Nangi; and his American private eye chum, Lew Croaker. These characters all find themselves involved separately in a strange plot to eliminate Mikio Okami, the kaisho, or boss of all bosses of the Yakuza, the Japanese Mafia. If that weren't enough, there is the bizarre killing of American Mafioso Dominic Goldoni, which endangers his sister, Margarite, and her daughter. Margarite becomes involved romantically with Croaker, who's taking his orders from big wheels in U.S. intelligence; in the meantime, Linnear's business is in peril from rival Japanese businessmen and an overaggressive senator, while Linnear himself appears to have vanished (he's doing telepathic battle with a trained killer who, like Linnear, has extraordinary power over his mind.) What's good about this novel are the glamorous settings, the psychologically flawed characters (all of them), and the fascinating flashbacks into Vietnam circa 1965 and Japan circa 1947