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Publisher's Summary

Running from a life she didn’t choose, in a city she doesn’t know, Sukanya, a young Thai girl, loses herself in the vastness of Tokyo. With her Bangkok street smarts and some stolen money, she stays ahead of her former captors who will do anything to recover the computer she took. After befriending Chiho, a Japanese girl living in an internet café, Sukanya makes plans to rid herself of her pursuers, and her past, forever. 

Meanwhile, Detective Hiroshi Shimizu leaves the safe confines of his office to investigate a porn studio where a brutal triple murder took place. The studio’s accounts point him in multiple directions at once. Together with ex-sumo wrestler Sakaguchi and old-school Takamatsu, Hiroshi tracks the killers through Tokyo’s music clubs and teen hangouts, bayside docks and byways, straight into the underbelly of the global economy. 

As bodies wash up from Tokyo Bay, Hiroshi tries to find the Thai girl at the center of it all, whose name he doesn’t even know. He uncovers a human trafficking ring and cryptocurrency scammers whose connections extend to the highest levels of Tokyo’s power elite. 

Tokyo Traffic is the third in the Tokyo-based Detective Hiroshi series by award-winning author Michael Pronko.

©2020 Michael Pronko (P)2021 Michael Pronko

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Profile Image for Victor @ theAudiobookBlog dot com
  • Victor @ theAudiobookBlog dot com
  • 02-03-2021

Tokyo Noire

Tokyo Traffic is the third novel in the award-winning Detective Hiroshi Series of mysteries set in the exotic metropolis of Tokyo, Japan.

Although he is a relatively new author, Michael Pronko continues to captivate and delight his readers with a superb writing style, characters that feel real and alive and with descriptions that are so vivid that we are instantly transported in the world that he created.

The series features a forensic accountant, detective Hiroshi Shimizu, whom I find to be a very original and fresh sort of character. An inspired combination between the decency of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch and the doggedness of James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux, Hiroshi Shimizu will be appreciated by all fans of police procedurals and mysteries.

This third entry in the series is darker and more dramatic than The Last Train and The Moving Blade. In my mind, the tagline sound something like "Tokyo Noire".

When a few bodies are found at a secluded movie studio that caters to the adult entertainment industry, detective Hiroshi is called to investigate the shady company involved. But when he starts to follow the money trail, Shimizu is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark world of porn movies where victims are made of the mostly innocent young girls kidnapped and forced into this trade. One such girl is our secondary character of the story and all I will tell you is that I found myself caring for her a lot throughout the ordeal that she has to endure.

The new voice for the Detective Hiroshi Series is renowned narrator, talented actor and award-winning voiceover artist Peter Berkrot. Drawing from his experience of over 40 years in the entertainment industry, Peter brings all the characters, locations and events to life in a perfect performance.

He reads in a calm, soothing voice, infuses the events with just the right level of emotion and switches with ease between voices and accents. This way, Tokyo Traffic springs to life in a million colors in the listener's mind and this way the flowing writing style and flawless narration creates a complete immersion. The narrator involved with the first two audiobooks in the series, Robbie Belgrade, did a great job, but definitely Peter manages to add something magical to the audio production. I think that he is the better suited voice for this extremely promising series and I hope to see him return for even more great mysteries set in Tokyo.

As I said before, Michael Pronko climbed to the top spots of my favorite authors out there and thanks to his lifelike characters and credible scenarios, his books are unputdownable.

If you are in the mood for a captivating, thrilling, gripping and immersive mystery set in the exotic city of Tokyo, Japan, you can't go wrong with Tokyo Traffic. The change of narrator is welcomed and appreciated and I don't say that lightly, as I always hate when this thing happens. But, this time, the change is for the better.

If you liked this review, please vote Helpful below and find more of them here and on theAudiobookBlog.

I also post honest reviews at the author, narrator, or publisher's request, you can get in touch with me for more details.

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  • Mark M.
  • 06-07-2021

Gritty, suspenseful, crime story set in Tokyo

Despite this being third in a series, I was not previously familiar with the series or the author. But I quickly became a fan.
In addition to a solid story, Tokyo Traffic’s greatest strength may well be how at home it is in its setting. Author Pronko is American born, but you’d never guess from this book. Typically an American author writing a book set in another country (with many cultural differences) will bog the book down, over-explaining cultural things, filling it with endless cliches. But Pronko - from his bio - has lived in Japan for decades, and is clearly immersed in the culture, and very much at home there.
Tokyo Traffic hits the ground running, dropping the reader/listener into a seedy underworld, a murder scene, and the police trying to make sense of it all.
Narrator Peter Berkrot is a perfect fit - bringing an authoritative voice and a subtly sinister tone, as events unfold.
The gritty, noir vibe of the novel somewhat reminds me of the mood of the 1950’s/1960’s police procedurals of Japanese authors Seicho Matsumoto and Akimitsu Takagi, as well as of the more recent “All She Was Worth” by Miyuki Miyabe.
I look forward to more from this author and narrator.
I received a free copy of this from Audiobook Boom, in exchange for an honest review.

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  • ctk
  • 05-03-2021

Great story and translation

Liked all the cultural asides about a Japanese food and lifestyles. Good narrator who gave life to the story. Would like to read the first two books by this writer.

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