Plot/Idea: Pronko weaves a complex and engrossing plot with riveting twists and turns to keep readers on their toes. This is a high-energy story, focused on several unforgettable characters, and each divergent plot line is gripping.
Prose: Pronko is clearly a talented writer able to paint vivid pictures for readers. The story flows at a clipped but measured pace, with the perfect balance of detail and action—a critical component given its foreign setting and different cultural nuances.
Originality: From beginning to end, Azabu Getaway is an engaging and satisfying read, built from an intriguing premise and inundated with exceptional characters.
Character Development/Execution: Pronko is particularly skilled with the characterizations of Patrick and Hiroshi. Readers will be able to understand their motivations and weigh the various scenes in the book through each character's unique viewpoint.
Blurb: A superb combination of suspense, murder, and finance, Azabu Getaway will keep readers up way past their bedtimes.
Date Submitted: August 24, 2022
Lovers of hard-boiled procedurals will relish Pronko’s interweaving of suspense and drama—Miyuki is certain that her husband, Patrick, who happens to be an employee of Nine Dragons, is involved in their daughters’ disappearance, as the couple are in the middle of a divorce that would leave him without even visitation rights. And Pronko, an American living in Tokyo for over 20 years, avoids the trap of many foreign writers by painting a realistic rather than exotic portrait of Japan. This Tokyo is, like any big city, a huge and crowded place, filled with different worlds coexisting next to each other, yet at the same time, it's a place where it's hard to disappear for long if a dogged sleuth is really searching. Pronko skillfully shifts between viewpoints, and despite his attention to well-established series relationships, readers who are new to Hiroshi's adventures will easily connect with the story.
Hiroshi and Patrick lead readers through the shoe-leather of police work—with all its inherent challenges and miscommunications—and Japan's unique economic and criminal world, topics that Pronko treats with depth and realism while still always making them engaging. Jolting bursts of violence and a consistent wit will keep the attention of even the most procedural readers.
Takeaway: A Tokyo police detective faces two murder scenes in one night in this gripping procedural.
Great for fans of: Nicolás Obregón’s Blue Light Yokohama, Sujata Massey’s The Salaryman's Wife.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A