Kage: The Shadow
Ymaa Publication Center, Jul 12 2011, $12.95
Thanks in part to his brother Micky, Dr. Connor Burke is in Arizona explaining to upset writers that their hero cannot realistically run a marathon after a beating if they were realistic and not Hollywood. Lori Westmann appreciated Burke’s words unlike her colleagues. She explains her famous father was found dead in his home; the police ruled it an accident though Lori believes that he was killed. Her dad was crazy Eliot Westmann who wrote about his adventures with a sect in Hokkaido. She wants Connor to prove or disprove her father’s assertions as Lori believes an assassin killed her dad for revealing what he knew.
Meanwhile in the Arizona desert near Tucson, someone kills Hector the coyote. As he studies Eliot’s unfinished manuscripts, Connor realizes that the smuggling cartels just to the south would not want some of the information released. Soon, he finds himself and his loved ones the targets of the deadly Mexican cartels, some Americans and apparently members of the sect that Westmann revealed in his books with his martial arts teacher, Yamashita having his endangered back.
The fourth Burke thriller (see Sensei, Deshi, and Tengu) is a great tale that effortlessly merges martial art values with headline news. The story line is action-packed from the moment he accepts Lori’s research assignment and never slows down until the final confrontation as the hero learns the poet sometimes must be the warrior just as the warrior must be the poet. This is a terrific thought provoking tale.