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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
A Tokyo Mystery is the first book in the series The Last Train: Detective Hiroshi, Volume 1 by Michael Pronko. Detective Hiroshi Shimizu belongs to the homicide department but is a specialist in white-collar crimes, thanks to his English fluency and ability to sniff out scammers a mile away. There isn’t a case he can’t solve until his mentor Detective Takamatsu asks Hiroshi to come to Tamachi Station. They found the body of a foreigner on the train tracks, and he wants Hiroshi to investigate. At first, it appears to be a suicide, but they capture a woman on camera near the dead man before the incident happened. It can be suicide, or it can be murder. However, as they investigate the deceased, they find the same woman at a club he frequented. Who is the mysterious woman, and why is she everywhere they look? Could she be behind the other suicides at the train station?
The mystery and suspense in this story are incredible. Author Michael Pronko successfully describes real estate fraud and how it is almost an epidemic in Tokyo. As for the characters, Hiroshi stands out. He is the protagonist, but that is not why he is the center of attention. He is intelligent, attentive, and very clinical in his approach. As relatable as Hiroshi is, humanity is his finest quality. I love how the villain is not your typical businessman or wealthy company CEO. The author does a fantastic job of creating an antagonist with whom you can sympathize. The listeners already know what happened; the suspense comes from wondering how and what the villain will do next. The pace is perfect, and it does not crash or accelerate toward the finish. The author maintains the momentum and keeps the action alive until the end, ensuring the reader is not going anywhere!
Peter Berkrot is a fantastic narrator. He embodies the characters, feels the story, and then lays it all out for listeners to experience with him. Berkrot has a distinct style of narrating, especially when it comes to stories with strong protagonists. His articulation is perfect and allows listeners to lose themselves in the story.