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The Pachinko Woman Hardcover – October, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Intent on bringing democracy to North Korea, Korean-American beauty Helim Kim plots to disable one of North Korea's major sources of revenueAthe pachinko gambling industry in JapanAin this muddled thriller of international intrigue. Largely owned by North Koreans, the pachinko parlors funnel billions of dollars a year in laundered money back to the homeland. Kim's plan is to convince the Japanese government to make pachinko parlors public companies, thereby subjecting them to strict accounting practices that would put an end to the financial chicanery. In carrying out her plan, however, the "pachinko woman" stumbles into a hornet's nest of villains, all of whom seem to be engaged in much more nefarious business than simple money laundering. They include an East German killer hired by the Russians to knock off pachinko parlor owners as part of a complicated effort to gain an economic foothold in Asia; a duplicitous North Korean dissident who wants to overthrow his country's government so he can become dictator; FBI spies obsessed with nuclear secrets; and a corrupt Japanese politician scheming to become prime minister. While Kim falls under the influence of these various miscreants at several points during her quest, her American boyfriend, wide-eyed lawyer Steve Juric, and a dogged Japanese cop, Tetsuo Mori, try to sort out who's responsible for all the deadly attention. This debut effort by Mynton (a pseudonym for "an American who has lived in the Far East for more than 35 years") has moments of compelling action and flashes of character depth. But they are squeezed into an otherwise ponderous, tangled plot in which so many story lines are at work that the narrative has no central core. The crudely handled epilogue attempts to answer several complex questions with only the briefest of explanations, but the reader will be grateful for the elucidation, however sketchy. Agent, Jed Mattes. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Plot lines galore lead to the attempted assassination of a North Korean leader in a deadly play for regional hegemony. Matters are complicated by a dizzying array of story features and characters: money laundering, improper election fund contributions, conflicts between North and South Koreans and within North Korea between hardliners and liberals, pachinko halls, comfort women, plutonium samples, semiconductor cartels, Russian spies, FBI agents, an American lawyer, a German killer, Japanese police, corrupt politicians, a TV anchor, Korean banks, and the Tokyo Stock ExchangeAnot to mention Yakuza gangsters, three ex-Presidents of the United States, a Costa Rican UN worker, and a woman motivated by the Asian women's rights movement, among others. Though marred by extraneous details, implausible coincidences, the lack of a dominant leading character, and an overwrought conclusion, this spy story deserves praise for the pseudonymous author's control of its multiple threads, his thorough knowledge of Asian culture, and the sustained suspense.ARonnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Company; 1st edition (October 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688161707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688161705
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,266,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By twomed on October 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book has too many characters. You have the assassin, the girl, the girl's boyfriend, the girl's father, the girl's grandmother, the FBI paid man, the cop, the cop'd FBI friend...it goes on for a while. If you can keep the characters straight I believe you will like this book. It intertwines several story lines into a twisting thriller concerning the North Korean government, life in Japan and pachinko gambling halls. The chapters are short and interest catching. It's easy to get into and, I've found, easy to put down and pick up again while still being aware of what is going on.
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