From Publishers Weekly
In the ninth Jack Liffey mystery (after 2005's Dangerous Games
), Shannon once again skillfully dissects the sociocultural landscape of Los Angeles. When a young female film student and activist, Soon-Lin Kim, goes missing in Koreatown, Liffey discovers that Kim had been shooting a documentary about a group of former "comfort women," Korean-born women living in L.A. who had been forced into military brothels by the Japanese during the 1930s and '40s. Kim was at work exposing the shady wartime past of the conglomerate Daeshin, now responsible for evicting the elderly women from their downtown rooming house. Meanwhile, Liffey's 17-year-old daughter, Maeve, has fallen for a Latino gang member; his relationship with police detective Gloria Ramirez is suffering growing pains; and, frankly, he's just tired. When Liffey ends up abducted and imprisoned in a desert compound, Gloria has to step up to investigate his disappearance before a battle between the Feds and a militant Asian-American group erupts. This underrated series remains consistently provocative. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Jack Liffey is a walking conscience, a bruised crusader who remains an unerring advocate of doing things the hard way and on behalf of the little guy. His ninth adventure begins with a Korean American businessman's search for his missing daughter, a budding filmmaker who's documenting the plight of the "comfort women" forced into sexual slavery in World War II. Her trail leads Liffey to both a paranoid group of activists and some scary government contractors--and ultimately to a Waco-like standoff in the desert. There's a lot packed into this ambitious book, including examinations of both antiterrorist hysteria and the dangers posed by high-minded ideals. And while the intellectual journey is every bit as keen as we've come to expect, the storytelling doesn't gel quite as well as his previous bests, The Orange Curtain
(2001) and City of Strangers
(2003). A subplot involving Liffey's 17-year-old daughter, Maeve, stands too far apart from the story, and, finally, despite the quality of the conversation, it's a bit too talky. But fans of thinking-man's detective fiction will find much to ponder. Keir GraffCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved