Sunday, November 24, 2013

Affair In Tokyo


Affair In Tokyo by John McPartland (1954). Army Sergeant First Class Robert E. Lee, from Mississippi joined the Army during the Korean War, where he picked up the nickname Lonesome Lee; a reporter for Stars & Stripes, he volunteered to accompany patrols, in order to get the war stories. When soldiers asked why, he told them he was lonely and wanted their company. Now he’s writing the news in Japan. One night at a club in Shimbashi he meets a red headed American girl who is reporting the news for one of the big American news outfits. They fall in love, but there’s a problem – she’s already engaged to an Army two-star general. Covering an underwater volcano erupting near Devil Islands, they are ship wrecked and obtain refuge on a canvas-covered portal of the ship with another reporter who tries to assault the girl. A fight ensues and the man falls overboard and disappeared. When they are rescued the man says Sergeant Lee tried to kill him, pushing him off their temporary raft. He dies, and Lee is in big trouble. This was a tough man novel set in Tokyo just after occupation, and things are still a little uneasy. The author was actually a Korean War veteran, and most likely spent considerable time in Tokyo, as he wrote about Tokyo with first hand and extensive knowledge. It was also fun reading about my old Army Command, the 1st Cav, and my old unit, the 720th MPs. It’s a good story, well written, just not a lot of killing or karate, but well worth the read. The author only wrote about a dozen novels, all very popular, including one I remember reading when it first was released, “The Kingdom of Johnny Cool,” also made into a notable film in the early 1960s starring Henry Silva and Elizabeth Montgomery. “Affair In Tokyo” is actually the second novel the author set in Tokyo. In 1953, his novel “Tokyo Doll” was one of the first novels to feature this type fiction set in Tokyo so soon after WWII and the Korean War. Very good story, and a lot of pain before the story concludes.

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