Review: The Drowning City

cover104720-medium.pngA killer stalks the streets of a near-future Tokyo on the brink. The cascade of events unleashed by the slayings threatens to drag under three people on opposite sides of the law.

There’s Vasili, the ruthless yakuza boss desperately trying to conceal a secret so explosive it could tear the underworld apart. Will he succeed, or will the vast criminal machine he has built finally spin out of his control?
Satoshi, the street soldier forced by Vasili to bring in his former best friend for a fate worse than death. He’ll have to decide whether his loyalty lies with his friend or his unyielding boss, before time runs out for both of them.
And Mei, the honest cop tasked with catching the killer, only to find herself pulled under Vasili’s influence. Caught between a corrupt police force and a gangster determined to lead her astray at every turn, she’ll have to outwit both sides if she’s to stop the killer before he strikes again.

Three desperate people who will have to break all their own rules just to stay alive. And even that may not be enough.

Tokyo Noir is a serialized crime thriller full of atmosphere, complex characters, and fast-paced action. The Drowning City is the first of five episodes.

The Drowning City is set in the not too distant future in a world that feels similar to our own, even if there are some interesting differences. Three distinct characters stories combine to show the central mystery which is both riveting and well crafted.

I did have trouble connecting with Vasili and Mei at times, but all in all the characters were well crafted and interesting. I would have liked to see a little more world building done as at times it felt like this story could have been set anywhere rather than Tokyo specifically, though for me that did make it a little easier to imagine things unfolding. I did love the idea of Tokyo Noir, but hope to see it more thoroughly shaped in future installments.

All in all, this was a short and enjoyable read. Recommended!