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Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

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Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

Post Number:#1 by katiesquilts
» 16 May 2017, 05:56

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Last Train" by Michael Pronko.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by katiesquilts
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In Tokyo, the main form of transportation used by millions of commuters each day can easily become a deadly force. Trains – subways, commuter lines, express and bullet trains – run like clockwork with barely a minute’s delay. If you were planning to kill yourself in Tokyo, your first and most likely option would be to jump onto the tracks -- an option that, unfortunately, many people choose every day. What if you wanted to kill someone else?

Detective Hiroshi Shimizu mostly works with money laundering, tracking illegal funds, the sort of thing that he can do alone on his computer. However, when he receives a visit from his friend Takamatsu in homicide, he’s pulled into Tokyo’s dark underside. He runs all over Tokyo, from hostess clubs in Roppongi to Narita airport, trying to track down who may have killed a foreign businessman working in Japan. Marking the death as a suicide would be the easiest route, but the foreigner was seen with a beautiful woman right before his death. Unlike with his money laundering work, this time Hiroshi’s not sitting on the other side of a screen from the bad guys. He’s working on a time limit as well, hoping that he can find the mystery woman – before she finds him first.

The Last Train is Michael Pronko’s first full-blown novel. Pronko is known as an expert on Japan, and has written a variety of articles and essays about Japanese culture. In The Last Train, he puts all of his knowledge to use to create a vibrant and true-to-form Tokyo. As a reader living in Tokyo, I experienced déjà vu reading about the exact train I was riding on. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought The Last Train was an English translation of a Japanese crime novel.

Besides the larger-than-life descriptions, I enjoyed the characters and the way they interacted with each other. There were many characters in the novel, as Hiroshi followed leads and hunted down his suspect. Each character, even the seemingly minor characters, left lasting impressions. I was actually disappointed when the end of the novel came around, wanting to learn more about the characters and what they would do next.

Honestly, I couldn’t find one mistake or quirk in the entire novel. I would definitely recommend it to crime and murder mystery fans, especially those with an interest in Japanese culture. There’s nothing too graphic despite the mention of multiple murders. However, it’s a bit slowed-pace and true to real investigations, so it may not suit those looking for a lot of action in their novels. Overall, I give The Last Train 4 out of 4 stars and am looking forward to reading Pronko’s other novels, also featuring Detective Hiroshi.

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The Last Train
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Re: Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

Post Number:#2 by kandscreeley
» 17 May 2017, 12:06

Wow! Now this sounds like a novel idea (pardon the pun). I didn't know there were that many people that committed suicide by train. I don't think it's a way I would want to go. However, it seems like murder would be awfully hard to prove, so it would make a great crime novel! Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

Post Number:#3 by MarisaRose
» 17 May 2017, 15:15

I can honestly say I've never read a book with such a unique premise! I'm glad you found the setting so authentic. I'm very interested in this one!
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Re: Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

Post Number:#4 by godreaujea
» 17 May 2017, 21:06

I love that you were able to connect with this book the way you did! It must have made the read that much better! Thanks for the awesome review :)
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Re: Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

Post Number:#5 by Radhika_17
» 17 May 2017, 23:52

I'm an ardent fan of Micheal's writing, and with this review, I can't wait to read this book myself! Thank you, I'm sure I'm going to enjoy it!

-- 18 May 2017, 00:52 --

I'm an ardent fan of Micheal's writing, and with this review, I can't wait to read this book myself! Thank you, I'm sure I'm going to enjoy it!
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Re: Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

Post Number:#6 by bica
» 18 May 2017, 07:38

:techie-studyingbrown: Hi. This is the first review I have read here. I think it is really a very good one, because it makes read the book, though I have not heard about this author before. Congrats!
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Re: Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

Post Number:#7 by Zero
» 18 May 2017, 08:41

I like the idea and the plot of the novel. The subways and trains make the perfect setting for a crime novel, as it is very difficult to find if it was a suicide or a homicide. Thanks to your review that I got the idea of the novel.
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Re: Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

Post Number:#8 by ZenaLei7
» 18 May 2017, 09:11

This seems like an interesting read; however, I usually like to read books that are fast paced. I also like a lot of action in the books I read so I think I'll pass on this book. Great job on the review!
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Re: Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

Post Number:#9 by Miriam Molina
» 20 May 2017, 12:03

I was recently in Japan and have a brother who lives there. According to him, many people do commit suicide by jumping onto train tracks. (Guns are banned in Japan so that's not an available route to ending one's misery.)

The good rating makes me want to try this book.
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Re: Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

Post Number:#10 by Amagine
» 21 May 2017, 11:41

This sounds like a great detective novel with an interesting mystery! I would love to visit Tokyo someday so I'm also interested in reading the book because I would love to read the author's description of the different scenery or settings.

Great Review! 📓
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Re: Official Review: The Last Train by Michael Pronko

Post Number:#11 by ReadtoLive
» 21 May 2017, 16:38

This sounds really interesting. I've never read a mystery set in Japan, so that would be fun. I've heard about the speed of Japanese bullet trains, though I've never been there or been on one. Anyway, thanks for the really good review!
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