In this "sophisticated international thriller" (The New York Times Book Review), an American antiques dealer turned reluctant private eye must use his knowledge of Japanese culture to unravel a major murder in San Francisco - before he and his daughter become targets themselves. San Francisco antiques dealer Jim Brodie receives a call one night from a friend at the SFPD: An entire family has been senselessly gunned down in the Japantown neighborhood of the bustling city.
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After wading through the tragedy of San Francisco's Japantown murders, struggling antiques dealer Jim Brodie is back in Japan for a well-earned vacation. But checking in at the PI firm Brodie inherited from his father, he immediately acquires a new case: a Japanese World War II veteran shows up and spins a dark story connected to the war and a pair of violent home invasions committed in Tokyo only days earlier.
In recognition of his role in solving the Japantown murders in San Francisco, antiques dealer and sometime-PI Jim Brodie has just been brought on as the liaison for the mayor's new Pacific Rim Friendship Program. Brodie in turn recruits his friend, the renowned Japanese artist Ken Nobuki, and, after a promising meeting with city officials and a picture-perfect photo op, Brodie and Nobuki leave city hall for a waiting limo.