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TOKYO DOLL by John McPartland – Limited Edition Hardcover


TOKYO DOLL by John McPartland – Limited Edition Hardcover

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  • Dustjacket and frontispiece artwork by Dan Strange.
  • Two color interior artworks by Mort Künstler.
  • 500 numbered copies.
  • Bound in full black cloth.
  • Patterned endpapers.
  • Head and tail bands.
  • 5½ × 8½ inches.
  • 212 pages.
  • Published July 2023

Published by Centipede Press



Commanding officer Mate Buchanan has a penchant for getting himself into hot water, up to and including a court-martialing that see his ticket punched back to the US mainland. But it’s always wartime, and even Uncle Sam has a use for the dishonored, assuming they fit a certain criteria. For their latest covert operation, where knowing death is a prerequisite, Mate was their lone-wolf mercenary.
Dispatched to the exotic shores of the Far East yet again, Mate must locate and acquire the culture jar arsenal of the reclusive Japanese virologist, Hideoki Tsumi. The doctor’s research has uncovered a virus that may shield those exposed to the dangers of nuclear fallout. And in the wake of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US government isn’t taking any chances. Except, of course, on an expendable ex-GI.
Finding the elusive doctor should be a hopeless mission, but Mate wasn’t selected just for his gung-ho attitude and hard-as-nails exterior. He’s a man with connections, including one with Dr. Tsumi’s own daughter: pom-pom girl, Akiko. She’s in deep with another military man, but she hasn’t forgotten about the ex-captain, which is as much a benefit to Mate as it is a burden.
Riding her coattails to her father and swiping his virus stash was never going to be easy. But it’s made even dicier within Tokyo, the formidable belly of the beast. Traversing the city’s urban hotbed of two-bit criminals, pimps, prostitutes, thieves, and shiesty black-market bosses is a thankless task. Plus, Mate is already pre-occupied with someone else: Sandra Lee, the witch of Tokyo. She’s the golden girl with the angelic voice whose ulterior motives can even keep Mate guessing until the end.
Teeming with enough espionage and hard-boiled noir to give John le Carré and Raymond Chandler a run for their money, Tokyo Doll is John McPartland’s paranoid, cold war, pulp thriller that pits its American hero against the scourge of international villainy. It’s a predictable premise for its time, but McParland’s deft touch and clever turn of phrase make for a novel worthy of reappraisal.
And one cannot overlook the anxiety-inducing claustrophobia that looms around every corner. Where even the shadowed alleys and smoky barrooms provide little in the way of shade. As Mate admits, &lquo;Whatever you do, wherever you go, eyes are watching you, notes are made, the police are informed.&rquo; This is the underworld of Tokyo. Just your mere presence will get you into trouble.
With cover and frontispiece art by Dan Strange and two archival color reprints of art by Mort Künstler, this new edition of Tokyo Doll is essential noir reading.

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