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Ebook Details
  • 09/2022
  • 978-1-942410-26-3 B0B4FMYGC4
  • 350 pages
  • $7.99
Michael Pronko
Azabu Getaway (Detective Hiroshi Series Book 5)
Money isn’t everything. It’s the deadly thing. After the murder of a high-flying executive in one of Tokyo’s wealth management firms, Detective Hiroshi finds himself investigating the financial schemes that secure the money of Tokyo’s elite investors. His forensic accounting gets sidetracked, though, by a second murder and the abduction of two girls from the home of a hotshot wealth manager. The abducted girls are the daughters of an international couple who seemed to have it all—a large apartment in the high-end Azabu district, top schools for the children, and a life of happy affluence. Their life falls apart and they are swept up in threats and pursuits for reasons they cannot fathom. Tracking the money and tracking the two daughters leads Hiroshi into Tokyo’s murky financial past and outside Japan’s borders as he discovers how overseas investments and tax shelters are really managed. Hiroshi works with Sakaguchi and Takamatsu and others on the homicide team, including an assertive new detective, as they confront greed and violence in one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Azabu Getaway is the fifth novel in the award-winning Detective Hiroshi series.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 10.00 out of 10


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

Pronko returns with the fifth installment of his celebrated Detective Hiroshi Series, following Hiroshi Shimizu, the Tokyo detective with a deep dislike of working crime scenes. Despite his preferences, Hiroshi finds himself summoned in one night to two different murder scenes: in one, the CEO of Nine Dragons, one of Tokyo's wealth management firms, is found murdered in his office, while the second finds young mother Miyuki returning home to discover her mother murdered, her babysitter attacked, and both her young daughters gone. As Hiroshi is pulled into the mix, he’s determined to solve the crimes—and in the process uncovers a shocking connection between them.

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.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B-
Marketing copy: A

New Release

Azabu Getaway, the fifth in the Detective Hiroshi series, will be released on September 10, 2022. Preorders available. 

Ebook Details
  • 09/2022
  • 978-1-942410-26-3 B0B4FMYGC4
  • 350 pages
  • $7.99