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Lady Joker: Volume 2

On sale

2nd February 2023

Price: £18.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529394221

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‘One of the great masterpieces of Japanese crime fiction’ David Peace, author of Tokyo Year Zero

One of Japan’s great modern writers, this second half of Lady Joker brings Kaoru Takamura’s breathtaking masterpiece to a gripping conclusion.

Five men who meet at a Tokyo racetrack every week carry out a heist. They have kidnapped the CEO of Japan’s largest beer company to extract blood money from the company’s corrupt financiers.

Known as Lady Joker, the men make their first attack on the beer company when their demands are not met. As the attacks escalate, the shady networks linking corporations to syndicates are exposed, the stakes rise, and bring into riveting focus the lives and motivations of the victims, the perpetrators, the heroes and the villains. Some will lose everything, even their lives.

Inspired by the real-life Glico-Morinaga kidnapping, an unsolved case that terrorized Japan for two years, Lady Joker reimagines this watershed episode in modern Japanese history.

‘A novel that portrays with devastating immensity how those on the dark fringes of society can be consumed by the darkness of their own hearts’ Yoko Ogawa, author of The Memory Police


David Peace, author of TOKYO YEAR ZERO
Hallelujah! Inspired by the real-life, still unsolved Glico-Morinaga kidnapping and extortion case which led to the nationwide hunt for "The Monster with Twenty-one Faces," Kaoru Takamura's Lady Joker is at last available in translation; epic in its scale and vision, yet gripping from first to last, this is one of the great masterpieces of Japanese crime fiction and one of the must-read books of this or any year
Yoko Ogawa, author of THE MEMORY POLICE
A novel that portrays with devastating immensity how those on the dark fringes of society can be consumed by the darkness of their own hearts
New York Times
Takamura's prismatic heist novel offers a broad indictment of capitalist society
Lady Joker is a work you get immersed in, like a sprawling 19th century novel or a TV series like The Wire . . . Lady Joker casts a page-turning spell
Los Angeles Times
Like Ellroy's American Tabloid and Carr's The Alienist, the book uses crime as a prism to examine dynamic periods of social history . . . Takamura's blistering indictment of capitalism, corporate corruption and the alienation felt by characters on both sides of the law from institutions they once believed would protect them resonates surprisingly with American culture
Publishers Weekly
Excellent . . . Takamura shows why she's one of Japan's most prominent mystery novelists
Kirkus Reviews
Takamura's challenging, genre-confounding epic offers a sweeping view of contemporary Japan in all its complexity
Crime Time
Sprawling, addictive, this X-Ray examination of a society where the have and the have nots (including the police) play a slow, inexorable dance towards catastrophe, turns into a fascinating piece of work and I look forward to its conclusion
A fascinating slow burn of a book, detailed, complex and immersive
Times Literary Supplement
Meticulously plotted complexity
Chicago Review of Books
By its sheer breadth, humanity, and the range of characters who walk across its pages, Lady Joker is comparable to the great 19th-century novels. It is a tremendous accomplishment
Paul Tremblay, author of THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD
Lady Joker is a towering achievement
The Japan Times
Like all literature, readers will take what they want from Takamura's critique of Japanese society, but at the heart of the epic novel is a gripping crime story where the actual crime itself is almost secondary to the psychological ripples it sends through the boardrooms, police stations, press offices and homes of anyone connected. This is much more of a whydunit than a whodunit - and one that was well worth the wait
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Takamura joins American writers James Ellroy, author of American Tabloid, and Don Winslow, author of several novels about the drug trade, to illuminate a society in which power and money matter far more than morality. All three write mysteries that also function as morality plays . . . Bravura
Ms. Magazine
Brilliantly dark
Kirkus Reviews
A complex work of stunning breadth and depth by a master of the genre
Publishers Weekly
Admirers of intricate crime fiction, which both engages the intellect and offers insights into the hidden parts of a society, will hope for further translations of this gifted author's work