Book - Rising Sun
A young American model is murdered in the corporate boardroom of Los Angeles's Nakomoto Tower on the new skyscraper's gala opening night. Murdered, that is, unless she was strangled while enjoying sadomasochistic sex that went too far. Nakomoto, a Japanese electronics giant, tries to hush up the embarrassing incident, setting in motion a murder investigation that serves Crichton ( Jurassic Park ) as the platform for a clever, tough-talking harangue on the dangers of Japanese economic competition and influence-peddling in the U.S. Divorced LAPD lieutenant Peter Smith, who has custody of his two-year-old daughter, and hard-boiled detective John Connor, who says things like "For a Japanese, consistent behavior is not possible," pursue the killer in a winding plot involving Japan's attempt to gain control of the U.S. computer industry. Although Crichton's didactic aims are often at cross-purposes with his storytelling, his entertaining, well-researched thriller cannot be easily dismissed as Japan-bashing because it raises important questions about that country's adversarial trade strategy and our inadequate response to it. He also provides a fascinating perspective on how he thinks the Japanese view Americans--as illiterate, childish, lazy people obsessed with TV, violence and aggressive litigation. 225,000 first printing; BOMC main selection.