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Bullet Train by Kōtarō Isaka, Sam Malissa (Translator)


Bullet Train Kōtarō Isaka, Sam Malissa (Translator)
UK Publication Date: April 2021
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★★]

This ARC was provided by Random House UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

One word review Awesome. Two word review Totally Awesome!!

What GR Says: Five killers find themselves on a bullet train from Tokyo competing for a suitcase full of money. Who will make it to the last station? An original and propulsive thriller from a Japanese bestseller.

Satoshi looks like an innocent schoolboy but he is really a viciously cunning psychopath. Kimura’s young son is in a coma thanks to him, and Kimura has tracked him onto the bullet train headed from Tokyo to Morioka to exact his revenge. But Kimura soon discovers that they are not the only dangerous passengers onboard.

Nanao, the self-proclaimed ‘unluckiest assassin in the world’, and the deadly partnership of Tangerine and Lemon are also travelling to Morioka. A suitcase full of money leads others to show their hands. Why are they all on the same train, and who will get off alive at the last station?

A bestseller in Japan, Bullet Train is an original and propulsive thriller which fizzes with an incredible energy as its complex net of double-crosses and twists unwinds to the last station.

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this story, despite the high body count it is great fun. Goodreads calls this a thriller but I think the genre is harder to define, it’s a mystery, it’s a gangster story, it is darkly funny, it’s a story about not underestimating others and most importantly it is a story full of characters that provoke emotion. I loved Nanao and absolutely loathed Satoshi, while Lemon and his Thomas the Tank engine obsession will remain with me for a long time.

Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of one of the central characters (and sometimes a not so central character) the story overlaps and interweaves leading the reader deeper and deeper into Japan’s murky underworld.

It keeps the reader guessing right until the very end and what an ending!

Who would like this? Personally I think there is something for everyone in this as long as you don’t mind the odd murder and psychotic behaviour.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Remedial Stitcher #

    I like the sound of this!


    April 20, 2021
  2. Barb Saffer #

    Sounds like a book I’d like. I don’t mind the odd murder and psychotic behavior. 🙂


    April 26, 2021

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