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Crossfire

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Overview


Young, pretty Junko Aoki has an extraordinary ability she can start fires through sheer force of will. When she begins using her gift of pyrokinesis to take the law into her own hands and punish violent criminals, her executions attract the attention of two very different groups: the Guardians, a secretive vigilante organization that tries to recruit her, and the arson squad of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Soon the police are on Junkos trail, most notably Detective Chikako Ishizu, a rationalist who ...
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Overview


Young, pretty Junko Aoki has an extraordinary ability she can start fires through sheer force of will. When she begins using her gift of pyrokinesis to take the law into her own hands and punish violent criminals, her executions attract the attention of two very different groups: the Guardians, a secretive vigilante organization that tries to recruit her, and the arson squad of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Soon the police are on Junkos trail, most notably Detective Chikako Ishizu, a rationalist who must come to terms with the existence of paranormal forces. As Junkos crusade against evil escalates and she finds it harder to control her power, we are taken on a breathtaking and brutal journal through the urban landscape of Tokyo. . .a journey that challenges us, along with Chikako, to think about whats right and whats wrong in the name of justice.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Two women from opposite sides of the law -- one a vigilante killer with terrifying pyrokinetic abilities, the other an intrepid arson investigator with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department -- seek the same thing, justice, in this novel by Japanese crime fiction author Miyuki Miyabe.

Unassuming waitress Junko Aoki is a "walking flamethrower, a perpetually-armed assassin" whose mission in life is to hunt down and murder every single gang member who was involved in a series of senseless and brutal thrill killings involving innocent young women. Chikako Ishizu is a sergeant on the arson squad of the Tokyo Police Department who has been tracking a string of unexplainable deaths where the victims' bodies have been burnt to ash -- no sign of smoke damage, accelerants, etc. In their very divergent pursuits of justice, the two tenacious women are both drawn to a shadowy vigilante group known as the Guardians, whose members just may include top-ranking police officers and government officials…

An intriguing amalgam of horror, dark fantasy, and police procedural mystery, Crossfire is a genre-transcending tour de force. A rare literary work that almost effortlessly merges extremes, it is as restrained as it is audacious, as rational as it is outrageous. Fans of authors like Ed McBain, Ruth Rendel, and Stuart M. Kaminsky who are looking for a little supernatural spice in their police procedural will surely enjoy this fiery Japanese whodunit. Paul Goat Allen
From the Publisher

"This provocative paranormal police procedural. . . .keeps the reader turning pages right up to the breathtaking climax." Publishers Weekly

"As it unfolds in a brisk, straightforward style reminiscent of a graphic novel or episodic video game, [Crossfire] throws off lots of fun sparks and even finds time for some pyrokinesis and a tragic romance." Booklist

"ELwill be a big hit with fans of Stephen King and John Connolly alike." Bookpage

"[MIYUKI MIYABE] is a master of small gestures, the precise geometry of meaning as it moves between people. . .a subtle observer of a country on the cusp. Her American readers can only hope for more chances to see through her eyes."The Los Angeles Times

On Shadow Family:
"EL the theatrically constructed plot is soon swirling with the naked emotions of unattached, deeply unhappy people eager to express their yearnings for an idealized family life no longer possible in the fractured social structure of modern-day JapanEL." The New York Times Book Review

"ELa smartly observant police proceduralEL both a suspenseful murder mystery and an astute running commentary on the parallel cyberworld inside which millions of people now spend so much of their time." The Washington Post Book World

"The [Ruth] Rendell comparison is particularly apt: Shadow Family starts like one of her Inspector Wexford police stories and then slides gradually into the kind of dark psychological mystery she often writes. . .Miyabe blends her two styles with impressive ease as the answers and villains are revealed." Chicago Tribune

"Miyabe expertly manipulates mood and pace as the action builds to a house-of-mirrors-like interview that slowly reveals the killers surprising identity. . . . [a] satisfying read." Publishers Weekly

"A clever puzzle whose commentary on the fragility and reinvention of families gives it a special edge." Kirkus Reviews

"Offers a fascinating look at the dark side of the Internet." Booklist

"Shadow Family has all the breathless immediacy of a courtroom drama." Pages

On All She Was Worth:
"Beautifully fashioned. . .enormously compelling. . .combining expert pacing and psychological nuance to ultimately haunting effect."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"An artful blending of puzzle-solving and social commentary."The Washington Post Book World

Publishers Weekly
This provocative paranormal police procedural from the prolific Miyabe, like her two previous crime novels translated into English (All She Was Worth and Shadow Family), examines the dark side of Japanese society. The complex story is seen through the eyes of two very different women: Junko Aoki, who's afflicted/blessed with pyrokinesis, the ability to start fires through willpower, which she uses to avenge unsolved crimes, and Sgt. Chikako Ishizu of the Tokyo police department's arson squad, a pragmatic skeptic. Chikako and her partner gradually piece together a series of baffling cases in which suspected criminals, cars and even buildings are inexplicably incinerated. Their investigation leads to those with supernatural powers, including a troubled young girl, as well as to an underground citizens' organization of justice seekers. Despite uneven pacing and some unlikely coincidences, this startling genre mix keeps the reader turning the pages right up to the breathtaking climax. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A veteran Tokyo cop hunts a vigilante killer with paranormal powers. Junko Aoki has the gift, or the curse, of pyrokinesis. She can make objects and people explode into flames just by focusing her mind on them. Ever since a catastrophic accident 20 years ago when her uncanny force got out of hand, she's tried to keep a lid on it. But a recent spree by a gang of teenaged thrill-killers who abduct and murder high-school girls has brought her back into the fray with a vengeance. Determined to fight the good fight, yet terrified of her powers, she's a natural double for Sgt. Chikako Ishizu, an arson investigator with the Tokyo Metropolitan police, who can scarcely believe the carnage at the scene of Junko's latest holocaust. As Chikako and Makihara, the homicide detective assigned to a strikingly similar case, close in on Junko, she's pursuing the ringleaders behind the abductions. But the most important pursuit of all may be the attempt by a group calling itself the Guardians to recruit Junko along with Kaori Kurata, a girl of 13 who's been linked to over a dozen suspicious fires. Miyabe's trademark sociological dissection of contemporary Japan (Shadow Family, 2005, etc.) takes a backseat to Stephen King set pieces in the most conventional of her three novels translated into English. But she still manages to capture the warring loyalties of her avengers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9784770030689
  • Publisher: Kodansha International
  • Publication date: 7/13/2007
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

MIYUKI MIYABE is Japans bestselling mystery writer. She was born in Tokyo in 1960 and worked in a law office before becoming a full-time writer. She is the recipient of numerous literary prizes, including Japan's most prestigious award for popular literature, the Naoki Prize.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Intriguing and exciting but sometimes falls flat

    This book was all right. I liked how they showed both sides of the story and both point of views. It was a nice even exchange between chapters and it went smooth for the most part. I have to admit though, although the beginning of the book really got me it just started to fall short and falls flat midway and I found myself wondering what's going to happen next and how soon because to be honest, I was starting to get a little bored of the book. Not to mention besides the main characters, there were so many other secondary characters mentioned I was left wondering who this person was again and I had to either read back a few pages or commit to memory who they were. It got a little frustrating as they appeared for one chapter and wouldn't come back until much much later. However, I found myself a little more intrigued bit by bit on how all these characters had to be connected somehow to each other and I was left guessing until the last moment. It was actually pretty well done despite these little flaws.

    I really did try to like Chikako but just couldn't do it. I was really trying to warm up to her but she was just flat. It just sort of seemed although she put the pieces together and helped solved the crime she really was just there for the ride. There wasn't much personality to her I thought. Unlike Junko. I think she was the main focus in the book hence why she seemed to be the only real character in the book that developed well throughout the book. Junko went from someone who was angry and out for justice to someone who finally found closure and absolute closure.

    The plot moved fairly smoothly although there were a bit of bumps and blips here with background information which was useful in some parts but in some other areas of the book it wasn't really necessary. Then sometimes I felt the plot was just going in circles and very redundant. It was really starting to get old. At that point, I wished the plot would have moved more quickly instead of lingering and remaining stagnant. It also felt as if these moments were needed as a space filler. It nearly took the heart and the momentum of the plot because of these bumps.

    Overall, it wasn't so bad but it wasn't so great either. It could have been better but the climactic ending did make up for it and as the story came to a close, it had a nice sense of completion. Would I recommend this? Well, that depends. Stick with Junko. She's the more exciting arc in the plot than Chikako. Try and read through the unnecessary stuff but the underlying layers of the plot actually also make up for its shortfalls.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2007

    A reviewer

    Crossfire by talented writer Miyuki Miyabe is an outstanding tale of destruction and mayhem. I loved this story and think anyone who enjoys a fantastic murder mystery will enjoy it as well, I say, give this writer's books a shot! You'll be glad you did! Yes, it is that good!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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