Rating:

pacific burn book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Pacific Burn is the third Jim Brodie book but the first one that I have read. I think I’ll need to go and find the first two books and give them a go as well. Pacific Burn was a pretty good read and I really liked Jim Brodie as a character.

We meet Jim and his friend Detective Frank Renna when Frank calls Jim in the early morning to help with a crime scene. A man is dead and a young Japanese boy who doesn’t appear to understand English is at the scene and keeps repeating the same phrase over and over like a mantra. Since Jim does work for the police as a Japanese interpreter, he gets this one. Not to mention, it turns out there is a more personal connection to the dead man and his son. They are the son and grandson of Jim’s great friend from Japan.

The dead man appears to have slipped in some oil and died when he hit his head on a sculpture. Once Jim calms the boy, they discover he was murdered and left that way to throw off the police. The autopsy confirms what the boy had said.

Shortly after, Jim’s friend comes over to collect his son’s body. Unfortunately, both he and Jim are shot at as they leave the Mayor’s office but Jim’s reactions save them both from dying on the steps. After the latest attack, Jim worries about the rest of the family and calls to warn them.

Besides being an art dealer and a Japanese interpreter, his father left him Brodie Investigations, so he has some resources and abilities to look into the matter. It turns out that there were quite a few possible avenues for people wanting revenge. Though one of the most promising was the daughter’s crusade, fighting the corrupt energy mafia in Japan. Jim gets a tip that the legendary Steam Walker is rumored to have been hired to kill the family, and since Jim already thwarted two attempts, he was also added to the list.

I thought this book had an interesting view into Japanese culture and really enjoyed reading it. I have put the earlier two books onto my wish list. The mystery was good, the story was very engaging and kept my attention. I was fairly surprised at who dun it. Definitely worth the read.


Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon & Schuster. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.