Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tokyo Doll


Tokyo Doll by John McPartland (1953). Ex Army Captain (field promotion) Mate Buchanan was a WWII and Korean War veteran who spent quite a bit of time in Tokyo before he was booted out because he failed to follow orders in Korea. Now living in San Francisco, the CIA and a mysterious government official contact him with a job; go back to Tokyo and find an old girlfriend’s father, who may have a doomsday virus other nations are trying to get. Arriving, and before he makes contact with Akiko Tsumi (his assignment), he meets DAC (Department of Army Civilian) Sandra Tann, a beautiful blond American singer with the Far East Radio, and falls in love with her. But more complications arrive. In order to reach Akiko’s father, he must propose marriage to Akiko. This was a tough man novel set in Tokyo just before occupation ends, 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 (though the Tokyo Doll uses a bit of savate), 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. “Tokyo Doll” was one of the first novels to feature this type fiction set in Tokyo so soon after WWII and the Korean War. This is a very good story and would have made a good action movie at the time; there is a lot of pain before the story concludes. Some of the same characters will appear in his next novel, “Affair In Tokyo”.

2 comments:

  1. Great post. I was looking for information about this book. You should read some of the books of Mark Derby, set in the East.

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  2. Thanks, Johny, I love reading novels set in the East. What titles do you suggest by Mark Darby? If you haven't read Dan Cushman, I can highly suggest his novels set in the East and Africa. Jewel of The Java Seas is one.

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