At the Sharpe End

At the Sharpe End

by Hugh Ashton


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When his business card is found in the pocket of a man who has died under the wheels of a train at Shinjuku station in Tokyo, Kenneth Sharpe’s life takes a turn for the worse. The stakes start high, and rise higher, as Sharpe and his friends take on the might of the financial world against the backdrop of the 2008 Wall Street collapse, and the ruin of the global financial markets.

This edition includes an appendix containing sections of the original first draft written in 2007, which described an earthquake rocking Tokyo and causing a nuclear accident. These were replaced in the final published edition by descriptions of the effects of the Lehman Shock. However, with the events of March 11, 2011, the first draft has proved disturbingly prophetic.

Best-selling Sherlock Holmes author Hugh Ashton lived in Japan for over 25 years, working in the technology and financial services sectors. At the Sharpe End was his second published novel, following the acclaimed alternative history Beneath Gray Skies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9784990516536
Publisher: j-views
Publication date: 06/13/2010
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.91(d)

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At the Sharpe End 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
bilja on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is very pleasant to read and hard to put down.The esthetic has been well taken care of.I particularly enjoyed the kitchen connection, how Sharpe does things or makes up his mind in there. I love the brisk, short narrative style. the dialogues and the thoughts.The thriller is played in a very unusual set, kind of akward things happening, reminds a little bit of the movie Entrapment, with Kathrine Zeta Jones ans Sean Connery. I definitely agree with whom sees a potential for a screen play, although I'd rather make a short TV serial than a movie out of this book. Way to go Mr.Ashton
HollyHarper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Who is more trustworthy-- the mafia, the police, or the international diplomats? Set in modern Tokyo, At the Sharpe End is a convoluted, fast-paced tale of international intrigue, high tech gambling, and violence. Protagonist Sharpe is a self-deprecatory expatriate who is handed a Hello Kitty box that ultimately leads to murder, riches, insanity, and more trouble than anyone bargained for. The nonstop action is sometimes slowed by the wordiness of the characters, but that same wordiness, particularly in the spot-on rendering of Indian-laced English, evoked several appreciative snorts and a couple bouts of laughter. The twists in this plot will keep you guessing, so read sharpe¿ (Get it?)
EANause on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a fantastic financial thriller. I love how the author mixed suspense, the currency markets and current events. The author found the proper balance to describe technical details without being boring. The characters are well developed and I found myself liking a villain or two as much as the good guys. The good guys are flawed and hypocrites. They end up becoming exactly like the insider traders and cheats the author demonizes in the book. It just made them seem more human and not above making mistakes. The characters are colorful and relatable. Hugh Ashton did a wonderful job bringing the Japanese culture to life. This was a fast read that kept my interest until the end. A great read!
yoyogod on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow, this was an exciting book. Kenneth Sharpe gets handed a gizmo that can make someone very rich. Unfortunately, the mob and several secret government agencies all want to get their hands on it, and are willing to kill to do so. I could barely put the book down.The only real problem I had was when the writer felt the need to explain fairly everyday terms that any Internet savvy person should be familiar with--like voice over IP and Skype. It was also somewhat jarring to hear the US President referred to as a "psychopathic moron" in a book written in 2010, until several chapters later when Wall Street collapses and you realize that the book is taking place in 2007 and the "psychopathic moron" is George W. Bush not Barrack Obama.All in all, though, it is a very good book.
croknot1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel has it all! Intrigue, suspense,action, violence, romance, and it all fits together nicely. I was very srprised to find that it was not "above me", and I was enthralled with the story line. The characters were so rich, I could see them all! A lot of the good guys were bad, and the bad guys were good. I was glad it is a work of fiction. Well done and kudos!
Krista23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was going to be over my head. In reading the synopsis you see such words as "freelance technology consultant" "2008 wall street collapse" and "global financial markets". I was intrigued by this book because it takes place in Modern day Japan, in the point of view of a foreigner. And that is also the reason that I enjoyed and would recommend this books to others. I found the main character Sharpe a little sarcastic and affable. He is thrown into a mess of a situation involving murder, the mob, and endangers the lives of his girlfriend and friends while rolling with the punches of the situation he's gotten envolved with. A stranger has approached him at a coffee shop, hiring him to write an article on some technology he's been working on. He then hands him a hello kitty box with unknown content and is found dead in mere hours. Leaving Sharpe the last one to see him alive. Come to find out not only are Americans, Britans, North Koreans and the Japanese looking into this technology and now Sharpe is the last one to question. What I found completely encouraging about this novel was as a reader, asking myself questions like "why doesn't he just give up the computer card instead of risking his loved ones" my answers were immediatly answered within seconds. I found that the language used was smooth, detailed and not overwhelming at all. The characters (even the bad guys) were all very well developed and entertaining. I am very happy that this book found its way onto my shelves and encourage others to pick this one up. It's intriguing, intuitive, educational and entertaining.
vkhowll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When reading the synopsis of the book I was worried that this book would be a hard read. I believed that either/both the "technical communications" language or the Japanese culture would be over my head somewhat. But, I ended up loving this book. It was an easy book from the very beginning. The author seem to take into account for the readers who know nothing about computers or Japan culture. I usually read fantasy fiction novels but recently decided to go outside my box and read different genres. Thank you, Hugh, for sending this great piece of work to be my first "murder mystery" book. Though I find it hard to call it that because there were so many different aspects to the book. This was an excellent read and would recommended to anyone. Thanks Hugh.
LivelyLady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Through no fault of his own, Kenneth Sharpe, living in Japan, becomes involved and then targeted for the discoveryof a techno program which could change his life...and the world...if he survives to share it. With mysterious killings, the finding of a severed head, and a "presumed" dead person appearing, Sharpe is pursued. He just is not sure who the enemy is. And you, the reader, will not know until the end just who the enemy is and what Sharpe's future holds. While somewhat complex with foreign names, I found the storyline and the plot engrossing. This is definitely screenplay material. And the story lends itself to a sequel. The author's knowledge and experience of Japanese life comes I am not a Ludlum or Follett fan. While the storyline may be simillar I believe the character development is more complete. I would recommend this to those who like excitement and business drama.
redwood5 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel took me a while to get around to, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the portrayal of Kenneth Sharpe and found his character very believable. Hugh Ashton's Japan is spot-on as well, and his outsider's take on Japanese culture and people is enlightening, informative, and at times humorous. All told, At the Sharpe End is a well written, engrossing thriller that I personally will be sure to recommend to other readers.
Sean191 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I couldn't remember putting a request in for this book and when I received it, I was even more confused since an action/espionage book isn't my usual cup of tea. But the author was gracious enough to send me a printed copy rather than make me read it online, so I promised I would read it once I wrapped up some others in my stack.Then I read the plot - it involved a computer blogger? reporter? consultant? I guess a bit of all those...and stolen software programs and technology and *yawn*But no...not really "yawn." In fact, I was really surprised. Maybe the protagonist isn't a ex-military action hero or so suave with the ladies, but the plot and story seem (with some stretch) plausible. Better yet, Ashton writes a quick-moving story. The writing is precise and the story is exciting and even though it's really covering an array of topics I usually have zero interest in reading about, I found myself eager to get back to my work commute for more than the reason of getting home, but to have time to read a bit further about Sharpe and the rest of the crew. I thought Ashton did an amazing job of making characters who should have been unlikable likable and then throwing them back into the despicable category. He manages to do this with multiple characters and he did so with real skill. I was very impressed with this book and don't see any reason it's not being published by a major publisher for a shot at the best-seller list.
agingcow2345 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really weird biz-tech noir set in Japan by someone who appears to know Japan well. The plot is tissue paper, the characters are straight out of central casting and the writing and pace are SO good that if you like the genre or anything close to it you will be having too much fun to care. If the world was ending this would be a fun book to curl up with.
crazyoaks More than 1 year ago
Kenneth Sharpe is chosen by someone unknown to take part in a crazy scheme that involves a facial recognition computer program and hidden behind that program a much more interesting computer program, the gifted Japanese creator of those programs, the Korean mobster family of the creator, a rogue secret agent and several other assorted police or secret agent types. Half James Bond and half Austin Powers, Kenneth Sharpe is all fun. You are caught up in this story, just as the main character, not knowing where the next surprise will come from. You can never fully trust anyone, even his friends, you can never feel that he is safe, even with the so called, good guys and even the end of the story leaves you with questions about what happened next. I found this novel about computer technology and the financial world easy to understand. I would not hesitate to recommend it to someone who does not have a computer or financial background. The book was easy to read and I looked forward to getting back to my reading when I had to be away.
ToniWI More than 1 year ago
The Sharpe End follows the exploits of Ken Sharpe. A British man living in Japan. Ken finds himself in possession of a secret that could change the world of finance. As Ken stumbles his way around, he finds himself in a series of tragedies. So many things happen around Ken that he story borders on being unbelievable. But the story kept me entertained. I couldn't stop reading because I had to know what happens next. The writing is very good but I found myself tripping over the British style of spelling and use of words. The difference in style slowed down a fast paced story. Also a lot of technical words needed to be translated for the non techie mind, causing the story to slow down further. Overall, The Sharpe End is a good read, as long as you can get past the foreign writing and word usage.