I’m very pleased to have Amy Tasukada on the blog today… more so, because I’d completely missed the fact that the second book in her Yakuza Path series is now available! I love stories set in Japan, more so since our trip, and I bought the first book in the series, Blood Stained Tea, because it reminded me of places we’d visited. Then I met Nao and… well, let’s just say the moment I’d realised that Better Than Suicide was out, it was on my kindle. If you like gritty thrillers with great characterisation and plenty of Japanese culture, I urge you to check this out…
By Amy Tasukada:
I’m excited to announce the release of the next book in The Yakuza Path series called Better Than Suicide. The Yakuza series focuses on Nao Murata an ex-tea seller turned mob godfather. He is obsessed with keeping Japanese traditions alive. In his home of Kyoto there’s no place else where someone could step back in time so easily.
Each book in the series is centered on a traditional holiday. The events of Better Than Suicide takes place around the holiday of Obon. This is where ancestral spirits come back to visit for three days and then return to the netherworld. There was a lot of death in the first book, Blood Stained Tea, so Nao is haunted by the ghost of his father and two lovers throughout his mission to find the traitor in his syndicate.
Better Than Suicide
A bag of drugs. A twisted cop. A mob on the verge of self-destruction…
Nao Murata is the new Godfather of the Matsukawa syndicate. When Detective Yamada confronts Nao over a dead drug dealer, Nao knows his organization isn’t responsible. The Matsukawa doesn’t deal drugs… or does it?
When Nao discovers drugs in a locker owned by his syndicate, he no longer knows who to trust. With the police bearing down on the Matsukawa, Nao must make unlikely allies to find out the truth. Can he discover who is betraying him before time runs out, or will everyone suffer for a crime he didn’t commit?
Better Than Suicide is the second book in a Japanese mafia thriller series. If you like complex plots, gripping suspense, and splash of gay romance, then you’ll love the next installment in Amy Tasukada’s Yakuza Path series.
Excerpt from Better Than Suicide by Amy Tasukada
Nao tapped his foot against the off-white vinyl tiles.
The churning sound of trains leaving Kyoto station echoed off the gray walls of the room, each one ticking away the minutes that Nao waited. He fumbled with the button closure on the pinstripe jacket draped over his shoulders to better hide the sling around his arm.
“This is taking forever,” Nao said.
Kurosawa puffed out his chest. “There’s no other choice.”
“Funny, driving to where you were supposed to go sounded like a—”
The door swung open, and Detective Yamada strolled to them.
Nao recognized the aged detective from the times he’d visited with his father, Kyoto’s former godfather. The mob ran through Nao’s blood like the Kamo River weaved through the city, completely inseparable. He’d managed to escape its flow for a few years, but when Kyoto was threatened by the Korean mob, the allure of protecting the city he loved had called him back.
“This better be good, Detective,” Nao said. “I have some important people waiting for me.”
A grin deepened detective Yamada’s wrinkled face. “Good thing I don’t consider the Osaka and Tokyo godfathers important.”
“But the Kyoto godfather is important enough to demand a meeting? I don’t know if I should consider myself lucky or—”
“I had an agreement with the Matsukawa and your father.”
“And he’s dead.”
The pipes rattled as a train passing made conversation impossible, and Nao sank back into the sticky memory, which lingered in the silent moments of Nao’s day. The day of his father’s funeral took over. His black casket had shone among the white chrysanthemums, while murmurs from the guests—syndicate members from all over Japan—had echoed in Nao’s ears.
Yamada cleared his throat, and Nao swallowed back the pungent scent of flowers. He couldn’t let his memory linger so vividly. He needed to bury it along with the others memories he had sealed off.
“I’m sorry for what happened to your father,” Yamada said. “Regardless, the arrangement still stands with the Matsukawa.”
“And how did the police hold up their end of the arrangement when the Korean mob gunned him down and ripped out his eyes? They did nothing. Your double-standard agreement with the Matsukawa is finished!”
Nao turned to leave but bumped into Kurosawa. Nao clenched his teeth. “Move.”
“Mr. Murata.” Yamada smirked and leaned against the door. “I couldn’t help but notice the Matsukawa crest you have on your lapel. According to the newest anti-yakuza laws, having your mob’s symbol on display is a fineable offence.”
About Amy Tasukada
Amy Tasukada lives in North Texas with a calico cat called O’Hara. As an only child her day dreams kept her entertained, and at age ten she started to put them to paper. Since then her love of writing hasn’t ceased. She can be found drinking hot tea and filming Japanese street fashion hauls on her Youtube channel.
Also by Amy Tasukada
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