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The Last Train

Michael Pronko
Raked Gravel Press (2017)
ISBN 9781942410126
Reviewed By Michel Violante for Reader Views (5/17)

Article first published as Book Review: ‘The Last Train’ by Michael Pronko on Blogcritics.

“The Last Train” by Michael Pronko begins late one evening with a beautiful, long haired brunette holding up and guiding an overweight drunken man at least twice her age, as they walk down the street toward the Tamachi train station in Tokyo. The next day, Hiroshi Shimizu, liaison between the Tokyo Police and their overseas counterpart, was summoned to report to the crime scene of an apparent homicide at the Tamachi station.

Upon arrival, he is shown an unrecognizable body. Shimizu was able to determine that it was a foreigner due to the blonde hair, but it wasn’t until he did some digging that he found out the man was Steve Deveaux from Bentley Associates, an International consulting and investing firm in Nishi-Shinjuku. So begins Shimizu’s investigation, which leads the reader through a complex plot, filled with intrigue and awesome investigative tactics.

Pronko is definitely a master of detective writing, and this novel reflects those skills at his best! Although I can’t say his plot was a suspenseful one for me as the reader learns “who did it” early on, his writing style kept me hooked to all the intriguing facts of the case, as did the investigation tactics used by the main character to unravel the case. The descriptions are spot on painting perfect pictures of the setting loud and clear within my mind.

The characters and dialogues were real and genuine, pushing the plot forward while making the story credible and alive. The author’s extensive knowledge of Japan’s culture is evident throughout, as he bestows the reader with vividly descriptive experiences through his fine attention to detail and masterful writing skills. I can honestly say that I felt I was watching a movie in my mind while reading this book.

Overall, I found this to be an extremely entertaining story, and I am just going to say it: “The Last Train” by Michael Pronko is a five-star detective read, the first in the series. It is unique, intriguing, and will hook the reader from beginning to end. I highly recommend it to all mystery lovers!

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