Item description for Ambassador Strikes by Robert J. Collins...
The American ambassador to Japan, Thomas G. Strikes, is brutally murdered at a posh restaurant down the hill from the embassy in central Tokyo. Various government agencies begin investigations.
At the same time, a presidential fund-raiser disappears with 26 million dollars. Various government agencies begin investigations. Is there a connection?
Nick Conboy, forty-year-old retiree from the State Department, is hired as a consultant to cut through bureaucracy and find out what happended. His fees will pay for new screens for the porch.
Within a week, Nick goes to Japan and back, his retirement lakeside cottage is burned to the ground, he is shot in the back and nearly drowns as he races away from attackers on the lake, he is accused of the murder, and he loses his one contact at the State Department who "apparently" hired him.
Danger abounds, as does raucous good fun.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.16" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.63" Weight: 0.86 lbs.
Release Date May 3, 2003
Publisher McKenna Publishing Group
ISBN 1932172041 ISBN13 9781932172041
Availability 0 units.
More About Robert J. Collins
Collins is a retired corporate executive. He has lived in Japan for twenty-five years.
Reviews - What do customers think about Ambassador Strikes?
Nick Conboy thought coming out of retirement was a good idea Aug 5, 2004
"Ambassador Strikes" begins with a dialogue between an ambassador and a surprise visitor. We then learn that the ambassador was the U.S. ambassador to Japan. The past tense is used because he is found dead at a restaurant near the Embassy, his head blown completely away. However, the brutal murder of Thomas G. Strikes is only one headline in Washington, D.C., another being the disappearance of the president's chief fundraiser with millions of dollars. Brought out of retirement former State Department operative Nick Conboy is hired as a consultant to investigation the murder and since his fees will pay for some repairs on his cottage on Lake Waubesa he heads off to Japan.
Having noticed that author Robert J. Collins had lived in Japan for a quarter century I was really expecting that most of "Ambassador Strikes" was going to take place over there. I lived there for several years as well, albeit as a student at a base school whose buildings were used to train kamikazee pilots during World War II, so I was looking forward to a bi-cultural approach to solving the crime. This was especially true once Conboy established a rapport with Inspector Kawamura and his faithful companion who we get to think of as "Kojak." But Conboy quickly returns to the United States where he discovers he is caught up in a growing whirlwind of personal disasters.
The plot that Conboy is trying to uncover in "Ambassador Strikes" apparently goes pretty high in the government and every time we think we know who Conboy can trust there is a good chance that person will end up dead. The mystery here is not so much uncovering clues as it is for our hero to figure out which ones to eliminate because they are dead ends or obfuscations of some sort or another. There is also the possibility that there are multiple plots going on here and that lots of people want to kill Conboy for decidedly different reasons.
Collins' forte as a writer are character and dialogue. Conboy is an engaging hero who has a few friends and manages to make some interesting new ones over the course of the narrative. The chief joy of reading this novel are any of the scenes where Conboy gets to talk to a friendly face, even if it is over the phone. The best of the bunch of secondary characters is Frankie Cohan, who is as wickedly funny as she is beautiful and who handles an unloaded antiquated gun with wonderful aplomb. You wish the wonderful cast of supporting characters were more involved in the proceedings, but given how dangerous things get that would probably not be a good idea.
"Ambassador Strikes" was an interesting book to read because every time the story would take a turn that I was not exactly thrilled by, such as when Conboy left Japan just as things were starting to get interesting, Collins would introduce another interesting character or add another wrinkle to the grand conspiracy. Even when he pushed one of my major buttons (I am tired of presidents being scum of such epic proportions that they make the likes of Nixon and Clinton look like saints) this is still an engaging read and when I take a break from grading and sit out on the top deck in the sun this is exactly the sort of book to be reading and getting suntan lotion on the pages. Besides, it appears Collins has written some mysteries that apparently take place in Japan and I would be especially interested in reading those now.
Could not put it down! Jun 30, 2004
I trust the author will write a sequel, for I just fell in love with his/our hero Nick Conboy. Dragged out of retirement by the State Department for whom he used to work, Nick sets off to Japan to find clues as to who killed our U.S. ambassador to that country.
Within a week, ol' Nick is being hunted by the very people who hired him. His retirement lakeside cottage is burned to the ground, he's shot in the back and nearly drowns, he's accused of murder, and he loses his one contact at the State Department who "apparently" hired him.
I could not recommend this book any more highly. It is simply a must read for any mystery/thriller fan. And what a movie it would make!
OUTSTANDING. Jun 10, 2004
This book, *Ambassador Strikes,* has it all. It met my number one "requirement" in that is is extremely well written, but the story also has a page-turning quality that makes this quick read hard to put down.
The author takes us from the hopping, neon world of Tokyo to the pastoral setting of a Wisconsin lake, to the thriving suburbs of Chicago, to Georgetown (where I could see the streets and tall, brick homes on the Potomac) to the White House and back to Tokyo again, as the likeable main character, Nick Conboy, tries to solve the mystery of Ambassador Strikes' murder.
This is a great summer read. A movie played in my head as I eagerly turned the pages and I imagined someone like Ben Afflick, or even Kevin Costner or Harrison Ford playing the lead.