Author: Jame DiBiasio
Title: Gaijin Cowgirl
Genre: Mystery, Action
First Published: March 8th, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author to review for my honest opinion.
"Working Tokyo nightclubs is easy money for beautiful and troubled American Val Benson – until a client with a rather unusual hobby – painting the private parts of his female liaisons – reluctantly gives up a map to a stash of Japanese war loot and tempts his favorite girl into a dangerous treasure hunt.
The Congressman’s daughter is not the only one interested in the map: Yakuza, bent cops, human traffickers, rogue CIA agents and her father are hot on her trail, snapping at her high heels.
So begins the dark, epic journey of a new anti-hero of Asian Noir, a protagonist both ambiguous and courageous, and utterly unreliable. From comfort women and tomb-raiding in Japanese-occupied Burma to the murderous echoes of the Vietnam War, long forgotten crimes come roaring back to life, as Val leaves a trail of destruction and chaos in her wake.
Together with her best friend, the equally unreliable nightclub hostess Suki, Val travels through Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok to the Thai-Burmese borderlands for a dramatic showdown with her pursuers. Finding the treasure before everyone else does is her only hope for survival, and perhaps redemption."
Finally finished this. Gotta hate when exam time gets in the way of reading. Oh well.
At first this was really, really slow moving. I wasn't sure Val's story was going to finally drift into the crazy treasure hunting, mystery, action story the summary talks about. However, once the story did explode it was good! It made the wait worth it. Perhaps the slow being was a way to make it seem more realistic and to establish the characters and the setting.
The story was good and I liked the different blend of characters. However, I loathed Val with every bone in my body. I tried SO hard to like her, I really did...but I couldn't. She was a spoiled brat and selfish. Poor Charlie...he was such a great guy and he wanted to love her and take care of her...but no...>.> I really wished that Suki had been the main character. She was interesting and I wanted to learn more about her. I also had a secret wish that she and Charlie would hook up.
The ending took me by utter surprise. However...not in a good way. I was not happy with how everything ended. Yes, there was a cliffhanger and I'm mad. Hopefully the author writes a sequel soon. Though I don't like Val, I do want to know what happens to her and how everything will end up.
In the end, this was a fun adventure. The author sure does have a way of writing and he always kept me on you on your toes. Though I disliked Val, I did enjoy her story. I hated the ending, but I wouldn't mind finding out what happens next for her. I would recommend this to those that need a little shake up in their reading and for those that love mysteries/adventure novels. Frankly...this would be a good movie and I would watch it. Out of five stars, I shall give this a solid 3.
Favorite Character(s): Suki, Charlie, and the Painter (*SPOILER ALERT*I just liked him because he was super complex and he was a great baddie*SPOILER ENDED*)
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Val and Papa Benson