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Fiction No Medicine for Falling in Love: The Tokyo Trilogy, Part II

The second part of the The Tokyo Trilogy by Jakob Halskov

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Editor review

Steamy Tokyo thriller
Pros
  • Enjoyable story
  • Well-developed characters
Cons
  • Would benefit from a bit more content and suspense
No Medicine for Falling in Love is the second part of The Tokyo Trilogy, written by a Danish author who used to live in Tokyo.

Five years has passed since the events of the first book. Yumiko is now the CEO of a start-up company and is balancing the responsibilities of her job and her increasing feelings for Nishiyama, her handsome employee, while dealing with Kuroda, the epitome of the slimy and sleazy politician. Shoko, who played a part in kidnapping Yumiko in the first book and is now her firm friend, is an ambitious senior fixer for the yakuza. As ever, the middle-aged Tomoko is actively looking for sex and romance. Linda, a new character in the series, is a Danish woman in a stale relationship with her husband. Fascinated with Japanese erotica and in search of adventure, she catches the plane to Tokyo, where she is bowled over by the gentlemanly Tanaka-san. This book describes the adventures of these four characters over a steamy (in both senses of the word) summer.

Written by a former resident, the novel describes a realistic Tokyo that will be familiar to other residents and exotic to others without falling into any of the cliches about Japan. It's an enjoyable read and very much a feelgood story: it ends happily, with things turning out well for the good guys and the baddies getting their comeuppance. There's also a better balance between the well-written and sometimes tender sex scenes and the plot than in the first book, and there is some interesting food for thought about Japanese society – just how different are the activities of criminal gangs and politicians in a dirty world? The book would have benefited from being a bit longer, with perhaps some twists and turns to increase the tension, as well as an editor to tidy up some of the slightly clunky sentences, but this novel very much falls within the category of 'a good read'.

Three (and a half) stars.
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