Jake Adelstein is an American reporter who briefly ran a one-man crusade against the vice industry in Japan, with specific reference to human trafficking of Eastern European women into seedy Shinjuku, Tokyo.
At the height of his work, he was briefly a special officer for the State Department, and I recall this micro-flurry of media attention from CNN, MSNBC etc. before the main target of his efforts resigned from his gang and then eventually nobody really cared any more that corrupt Japanese businessmen were engaging in seedy practices with the Natashas and Grushenkas of the world.
it seems every few years there is an incident out of Japan, a bit too do, and then the furor dies down. [a:Mo Hayder|74876|Mo Hayder|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1327274083p2/74876.jpg] is a writer who actually worked in this industry, and of course quite a few people are familiar with the art-student case, the rophynol and sea cave case, the assorted individuals who "disappear." it's a jungle!
one Japanese male once pointed out to me that a Japanese girl gets kidnapped or what not every few years in the US, but nobody ever hears about it. to some degree this may be a valid point, but then again, even countryside Japanese know of the "Halloween freeze" incident. (and this happened in the 1980s).
anyway this book is a good book because Adelstein has a good ear for prose and manages to cover his development from being the first foreign Daily Yomiuri reporter to running the crime beat to crusader for the U.S. Department of State. we meet all the villains; we find the foot-soldiers and the dons working behind the scenes; we learn about a reporter's life, and we have good emotionally-compelling chapters with vivid characterization and insight into Adelstein's character as well.
book is a well-deserved four stars, losing the fifth only because a personal moral quest does not reach the same levels of greatness as an actual shooting. if Adelstein had shot a trafficker, rescued a small girl-child, or actually gone over to the other side and become a criminal, he'd deserve a fifth star. as a mere analyst and talker and brilliant japan deconstructionist, he is ultimately just a four-star individual