DiscoverMystery & Crime

The Bushido Way/a Sam Phillips Mystery

By

Not for me 😔

Mystery & crime adventures with twists and turns. It's a fun, quick read without being intense. Some of the scenes are extremely violent.

Synopsis

Vietnam veteran Sam Phillips follows in the footsteps of his father into the world of private investigations. It’s the end of the Vietnam War in 1976 during the Fall of Siagon and a battle-worn Sam has just taken over his father’s company after his death.

With his office above a seedy bar off Hollywood and Vine, Sam and his new assistant Constance Turner go weeks before they land their first case. With the help of his troubled friend Armstrong Jones—fresh out of prison for nearly killing two men, they are paid by an old friend Michelle Yamada of protecting her little brother Ken, a Yakuza gang member being hunted by a rival gang, the Yokohama Black Rebels who killed their father. Chasing Ken is the notorious boss Hiroshi Ito, a sadistic killer who has killed nearly all the Yakuza bosses in Little Tokyo.

In protecting Ken, people close to Sam are getting killed off, including detective friends who are trying to capture Hiroshi for murder. When things start to not add up about Ken, Sam and Armstrong begin to wonder if they’re being played the fool. Sam and Armstrong must go on the offensive before it’s too late.

Sam Phillips is a private investigator in Los Angeles, and the year is 1976. The story begins after his return from active duty in Vietnam as he tries to leverage his military background to launch his own PI agency with his loyal secretary, Constance Turner. Sam is taunted by his landlord for past-due rent when his first client appears.


Michelle Yamada introduces her brother, Ken, and hires Sam to protect Ken from a dangerous Japanese gang known as Yokohama Black Rebels. Sam's second client is Lauren Tolliver, a wealthy has-been actress who asks Sam to find an emerald stone necklace valued at $1.5 million. In both cases, Sam suspects his clients of withholding information but remains committed to do what he has been paid to do. He solicits the help of his friend, Armstrong Jones, an ex-convict who has PI aspirations of his own. The danger centers around Bushido, the Samurai's code, which is "to exact revenge without hesitation."


As a story of mystery and crime, it kept me intrigued and held my interest with surprises at several points in the story. It is written in the first person from Sam's point of view. Sam takes the reader through his nightmares from the war, love interests, and the bonds he holds dearly with family and friends.


I found more than one part of the story out of sequence. For example: "I follow Ken and Michelle back to their place so he could pack up his belongings to bring back with me." Following that statement is "I instruct Ken to sit low in the back seat as to not be recognized." If Sam followed them in his car, how did Ken end up in his back seat? There are also events that seem to come out of nowhere, such as a marriage proposal that did not follow any surge of passion relatable to the reader. During the series of fatalities, I wanted to feel empathy for Sam, but the writing lacked the intensity of emotion.


I enjoyed the way the mysteries overlapped and unraveled. The side stories within the larger story kept it interesting. I prefer a writing style with more fervor so I could hold a strong connection to the characters, but as a mystery & crime book, the story line kept my attention.


Reviewed by

Gail has a project management background and specializes in writing marketing material, web pages, blogs, bios and résumés. Favorite genres include memoir, novels, mystery & crime, fiction, legal & medical thrillers, essays, short stories & books about wellness and career building/business success.

Synopsis

Vietnam veteran Sam Phillips follows in the footsteps of his father into the world of private investigations. It’s the end of the Vietnam War in 1976 during the Fall of Siagon and a battle-worn Sam has just taken over his father’s company after his death.

With his office above a seedy bar off Hollywood and Vine, Sam and his new assistant Constance Turner go weeks before they land their first case. With the help of his troubled friend Armstrong Jones—fresh out of prison for nearly killing two men, they are paid by an old friend Michelle Yamada of protecting her little brother Ken, a Yakuza gang member being hunted by a rival gang, the Yokohama Black Rebels who killed their father. Chasing Ken is the notorious boss Hiroshi Ito, a sadistic killer who has killed nearly all the Yakuza bosses in Little Tokyo.

In protecting Ken, people close to Sam are getting killed off, including detective friends who are trying to capture Hiroshi for murder. When things start to not add up about Ken, Sam and Armstrong begin to wonder if they’re being played the fool. Sam and Armstrong must go on the offensive before it’s too late.

Los Angeles circa 1976








































Chapter 1




 

They said I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed. Choosing to become a P.I. was not what my mother had in mind for me after I got out of ‘Nam. She wanted me to go into the airline industry, or maybe work for a bottling company. It's 1976-our country's bicentennial year, as most of the country is doing their part to celebrate. I returned in "country" after the fall of Saigon last year with my body intact, but my mind somewhat damaged. Nightmares are a recurring theme, so working in a "normal environment" just doesn't work for me. I settled in Hollywood, California, by way of Kansas City, Missouri, just to get out of my folks' hair. I took up being a private dick because it was an easy transition from being in the military.                                                                                                 

 I reside in a dive of an apartment upstairs from a bar that also doubles as my office. It has a pull out sofa for my bed. It's located on Hollywood and Vine, a block away from Capitol Records Music in an area that's a far cry from the glamour of Hollywood's "golden years".     

 The bar sits around the corner from 24hr strip clubs, porn stores, and tourist shops, and is run by a tough broad by the name of Bernice Jones. Miss Bernice-as she's called was a former blues singer back in the Chess Record days but fell on hard times herself. Underneath the bar she packs a sawed-off shotgun to ward off the riff-raff that either can't hold their liquor or don't want to leave when she tells them. I on the other hand, am the latest to draw Bernice's ire. For what you ask? My rent is due and I can't make rent.                                 

  Just yesterday I got a visit from Bernice. She doesn't like to come looking for you on rent day because it takes her away from her other duties. She came in and bowled right over my secretary-Constance Turner.

 "Where's Sam?!" she asked.

  "I think he's out…"                                                                     

 "No, he's not-I can smell his cheap Hai Karate cologne, baby!" Bernice said, storming past Constance. She steps into my office with a look on her face that can scare Aunt Esther.

  "Sam, you know I don't like coming to find you on rent day!" she yelled.

  "You should be man enough to come to me even if you ain't got

      it!"                                                           

What can I say-she's right. Only a bum would hide away in his office.

     "You're right, Miss Bernice. I got caught up calling back

      potential clients-trying to get a case," I said, even though I

      bullshit. I was looking through the paper for the lottery results-

      loser again. "       

I'm revoking your drinking privileges at the bar until your rent's paid," she barked. She looks over at my tiny little Fern sitting in the corner that's seen better days. That just happens to be the same Fern that she gave me when I first moved in. Just when she was starting to warm up to me-I can see the veins in her forehead starting to pop.  "You make sure you have my rent by next week, or you're out on your ass!" She moves out of the room exactly the way she came in. Like an F4 Tornado.























About the author

M. Anthony was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. He's an actor, martial artist, and Novelist who looks to follow in the steps of his mentors, Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosley, and James Patterson. After working in Hollywood for ten years, he looks to carve his own niche in storytelling. view profile

Published on March 11, 2020

70000 words

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by

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