Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Last Stop Tokyo by James Buckler @DoubledayUK @TransworldBooks #BlogTour

The funny thing with suffering is just when you think you’ve suffered enough, you realize it’s only the beginning.

Alex thought running away would make everything better. Six thousand miles from the mistakes he’s made and the people he’s hurt, Tokyo seems like the perfect escape. A new life, a new Alex.

The bright lights and dark corners of this alien and fascinating city intoxicate him, and he finds himself transfixed by this country, which feels like a puzzle that no one can quite explain. And when Alex meets the enigmatic and alluring Naoko, the peace he sought slips ever further from his grasp.

After all, trust is just betrayal waiting to happen and Alex is about to find out that there’s no such thing as rock bottom. There’s always the chance it’ll get worse . . .

Last Stop Tokyo by James Buckler was published by Doubleday on 24 August 2017 and is the author's debut novel.

I read Last Stop Tokyo over one weekend, and was well and truly hooked from the start. I'll admit that at first glance, I wasn't sure if this was going to be my kind of book, but I've learnt never to judge a book by its cover (that cover didn't entice me, I will admit), and by the end of the five page prologue I was gasping for more; desperate to know what led Alex to this scene.

Alex Malloy is an English guy living and working in Tokyo. He's teaching English, just like lots of other Brits out there and this is a far cry from his previous career as a lawyer in London. Alex came to Tokyo to try to forget his past, and to start again in a place where nobody knows his history. However, there is one person in the city who does know. Hiro, his friend from University knows who Alex used to be, but he also thinks he knows why he's no longer that person.

Alex begins a relationship with Naoko; an attractive Japanese girl who works in an art gallery, they meet through Hiro, and like Alex, Naoko has a history that she wants to forget.

Neither Alex or Naoko are particularly likeable characters. Alex is gullible and easily led, whilst Naoko is determined and at times, hard hearted. Their relationship is difficult and full of tension which comes to a head one evening at the art gallery.

This is a story full of dark, seedy characters and exposes the darkest underbelly of Tokyo. The reader becomes familiar with the deadliest of deals, with corruption and crime and travels from the dirtiest of jail cells to the white beaches of Thailand.

Last Stop Tokyo is intriguing and paced very well. It twists and turns through the plot throwing up surprises that I certainly didn't anticipate. I enjoyed every page and highly recommend it.

My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

James Buckler grew up in the south-west of England and currently lives in London, though he has lived in America and Japan, where he worked as an English teacher.

He studied Film at the University of Westminster and worked in film and TV for many years, most notably as a post-production specialist for MTV and BBC Films.

Last Stop Tokyo is his debut novel.

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