Raked Gravel Press (2022)
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (09/2022)
“Azabu Getaway” is an astounding whodunit by Michael Pronko and the fifth installment in the Detective Hiroshi series.
Detective Hiroshi Shimizu swings into action to investigate a series of murders that occur in Tokyo, one, the death of an accomplished executive in one of the fastest-growing wealth management firms in Tokyo, and another murder that is followed by the kidnapping of two girls of an affluent overseas couple. His experience and skill are put to test when he unearths seedy schemes of overseas investments and tax evasion. This is as he navigates the murky waters of avarice, violence, and treachery in the most popular city in Japan where the bold merge with tradition and order evens the chaos.
As questions of reckoning draw nearer to those of truth and justice, the two halves of the novel, past and present, begin to strike glimmers. Once Hiroshi begins his forensic accounting, the rapid action begins, the dialogue pithy and engaging as the story moves at an even pace, making readers feel nicely plugged into the thawing power force of an intertwined world. The characters too are memorable and worth rooting for, and the plot is just intricate enough to be attention-holding without being staggering.
The author has written a riveting ode that is rhapsodic and rattling, with sentences that feel like carved magma: honed and polished. His ability to present readers with red herrings along the chapters, along with possible culprits, ultimately sets off the inner sleuth in them. Voyeuristic in all the right ways, long with its remarkable prose, this volume oozes twisted adventure, mystery, and thrill. Further, the author has created a plausible story with the lifestyle, traditions, and culture of the megacity resulting in a satisfying whodunit that goes down smooth yet packages a knock.
“Azabu Getaway” by Michael Pronko is unquestionably a five-star novel and, by all accounts, an affable lush. I am disposed to agree that all whodunits should end as gratifyingly. It is quite entertaining and written with incredible agility and insight. Altogether, this literary feat presents a perfect blending of murder mysteries that fans of detective stories will find most satisfying!