THE LAST TRAIN is the gripping new Tokyo-based mystery from multi-award-winning author Michael Pronko Detective Hiroshi Shimizu investigates white collar crime in Tokyo.
He’s lost his girlfriend and still dreams of his time studying in America, but with a stable job, his own office and a half-empty apartment, he’s settled in.
When an American businessman turns up dead, his mentor Takamatsu calls him out to the site of a grisly murder. A glimpse from a security camera video suggests the killer was a woman, but in Japan, that seems unlikely. Hiroshi quickly learns how close homicide and suicide can appear in a city full of high-speed trains just a step—or a push—away.
Takamatsu drags Hiroshi out to the hostess clubs and skyscraper offices of Tokyo in search of the killer. She’s trying to escape Japan for a new life by playing a high-stakes game of insider information.
To find her, Hiroshi goes deeper and deeper into Tokyo’s intricate, ominous market for the most expensive real estate in the world. When Takamatsu inexplicably disappears, Hiroshi teams up with ex-sumo wrestler Sakaguchi.
They scour Tokyo’s sacred temples, corporate offices and industrial wastelands to find out where Takamatsu went, and why one woman would be driven to murder when she seems to have it all. In a megalopolis of 40 million people, finding one woman is nearly impossible. If he can’t find her, more businessmen will die, she’ll flee the country and the male-dominated, cutthroat world of buying and selling property will never change.
After years in America and lost in neat, clean spreadsheets, Hiroshi confronts the stark realities of the biggest city in the world, where inside information can travel in a flash from the top investment firms to the bottom of the working world, where street-level punks and teenage hostesses sell their souls for a small cut of high-profit land deals.
Hiroshi’s determined to cut through Japan’s ambiguities—and dangers—to find the murdering ex-hostess before she extracts her final revenge—which just might be him.
“An elegantly written, precisely observed portrait of a Japanese city and its culture.” - Kirkus Reviews
Solo Medalist Winner New Apple Awards for Excellence 2017
Winner Crime Fiction Beverly Hills Book Awards 2017
Winner Best Mystery Book Excellence Awards 2017
Gold Award Literary Titan Book Award 2017
Silver Award IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards 2017
Silver Award Feathered Quill Book Award 2018
- ISBN-13 : 978-1942410126
Michael Pronko is a Tokyo-based writer of murder, memoir and music. His writing about Tokyo life and his character-driven mysteries have won awards and five-star reviews. Kirkus Reviews selected his second novel, The Moving Blade for their Best Books of 2018. The Last Train won the Shelf Unbound Competition for Best Independently Published Book.
Michael also runs the website, Jazz in Japan, which covers the vibrant jazz scene in Tokyo and Yokohama. During his 20 years in Japan, he has written about Japanese culture, art, society and politics for Newsweek Japan, The Japan Times, and Artscape Japan. He has read his essays on NHK TV and done programs for Nippon Television based on his writings.
A philosophy major, Michael traveled for years, ducking in and out of graduate schools, before finishing his PhD on Charles Dickens and film. He finally settled in Tokyo as a professor of American Literature at Meiji Gakuin University. His seminars focus on contemporary novels, short stories and film adaptations.