Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Geisha Confidential - August Riordan 8

 Geisha Confidential by Mark Coggins



Geisha Confidential is the 8th August Riordan mystery by Mark Coggins. Released 4th March 2024 by Down & Out, it's 256 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout.

This is a very well written PI story set in modern Tokyo. The plotting and story arc are precise, controlled, and well orchestrated, with a dash of horrifying, nail biting, crime subplot. It's fast paced and action filled. This is a PI novel in the proud tradition of Chandler, Hammett, Runyon, and the rest, though none of their femmes (fatale or otherwise) were like Coco, depicted in this story.

It would work moderately well as a standalone, but it's such a very high quality read, that readers are encouraged to seek out the other books in the series first; there's a moderate amount of continuity between the books. The author is prolific, and he's *good*.  This is one for readers who love old school gumshoe PIs which hearken back to rain-slicked mean streets of 1940s black and white cinema. There are even punch ups between the protagonist and assorted bad guys and our guy comes out on top, bruised but unbowed, despite nearly being gutted and shot (several times).

For particularly sensitive readers, it bears mentioning that this book contains a fair bit of direct physical violence with on-page descriptions, and several of the characters are nonbinary/gay/or transsexual. There are mentions of organized crime, and medical crime, as well as sex work. The author does a good job of treating the characters with respect and discretion. 

Four and a half stars, solidly entertaining.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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