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Lady Joker

Author(s): Kaoru Takamura, Allison Markin Powell (Translator), Marie Iida (Translator)

Location(s): Tokyo

Genre(s): Crime, Fiction

Era(s): Late 20th Century

‘One of the great masterpieces of Japanese crime fiction and one of the must-read books of this or any year’ David Peace

Tokyo, 1995. Five men meet at the racetrack every Sunday to bet on horses. They have little in common except a deep disaffection with their lives, but together they represent the social struggles and griefs of post-War Japan: a poorly socialized genius stuck working as a welder; a demoted detective with a chip on his shoulder; a Zainichi Korean banker sick of being ostracized for his ethnicity; a struggling single dad of a teenage girl with Down’s syndrome. The fifth man bringing them all together is an elderly drugstore owner grieving his grandson, who has died in suspicious circumstances.

Intent on revenge against a society that values corporate behemoths more than human life, the five conspirators decide to carry out a heist: kidnap the CEO of Japan’s largest beer conglomerate and extract blood money from the company’s corrupt financiers.

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