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Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite
Michael Pronko's mystery novel Azabu Getaway: Detective Hiroshi Series Book 5 is a gripping murder and crime story set in Tokyo. Detective Hiroshi Shimizu is a forensic accountant, investigating financial crimes. He is fluent in English, having lived in Boston for some years. Joseph Leung, CEO of the international Nine Dragons Wealth Management firm, is found murdered in his firm's office in Tokyo. As Hiroshi and his team of detectives investigate Leung's brutal murder, another murder is discovered in an apartment in the affluent Azabu district. The luxury apartment is the home of the Walsh family. Patrick Walsh, an American, is a highly successful investment manager and his wife Miyuki is a bank account manager. Their daughters, Jenna aged 9, and Kiri aged 5, are missing from their apartment. Hiroshi and his team of detectives take on the investigations for both murders and the search for the missing young girls. Fast-paced and action-filled, the story grows more terrifying with every twist and turn!
I enjoyed reading Michael Pronko's Azabu Getaway for its remarkable cast of characters and strong themes. I liked the multi-faceted, convoluted storyline of murder, kidnapping, and financial crime. In particular, I liked Detective Hiroshi Shimizu's character development, as well as that of Patrick and Miyuki Walsh. I appreciated the rich evocative details of Tokyo, its people, its many distinctive areas, and its culture. That brought to life the characters as individuals and their interpersonal interactions with others. I was drawn deeper into the story, as I read the characters' backstories, motives, and conflicts, their difficulties, different insights, and perspectives. Details about investments and greed are interwoven into the novel, and that underpins the flow of money and crime in the novel. The story's most intense and emotional moments were those of the Walsh family, which were heart-wrenching! Patrick and Miyuki's world turns upside down when their daughters are kidnapped. That is an account of love, fear, despair, pain, turmoil, anguish, and remorse. This is a masterful story, well-crafted, with incredible characters, and strong thought-provoking themes!