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Tokyo [Paperback]

Mo Hayder
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Feb 2005
Student Grey Hutchins has come to Tokyo because of an obsession. Vulnerable and on the edge, she is searching for a fragment of film supposedly taken during the notorious Nanking Massacre in 1937 when the Japanese murdered 300,000 civilians. Some say the film doesn't exist. The only man who can help is a survivor of the Massacre. Immersed in his books and wary of strangers, this man will at first have nothing to do with Grey. Increasingly desperate, she accepts a hostess job at an exclusive nightspot catering for businessmen and gangsters, and it is here she comes to the attention of one particular man. Ancient, wheel-chair bound and guarded by a terrifying nurse, it is rumoured he relies on a strange elixir for his continued well-being - an elixir others want, at any price ... With its heady atmosphere of overt violence, lurking fear and sexual tension, TOKYO grabs the reader and refuses to let go until its shattering final pages.

Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; New edition edition (1 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553814621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553814620
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.6 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 368,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mo Hayder has written some of the most terrifying crime thrillers you will ever read. Her first novel, Birdman, was hailed as a 'first-class shocker' by the Guardian and her follow-up, The Treatment was voted by the Times one of 'the top ten most scary thrillers ever written'. Mo's books are 100% authentic, drawing on her long research association with several UK police forces and on her personal encounters with criminals and prostitutes. She left school at 15 and has worked as a barmaid, security guard, English teacher, and even a hostess in a Tokyo club.

She has an MA in film making from the American University in Washington DC and an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University. She now lives in England's West Country and is a full-time writer. For more information on Mo Hayder and her books, see her website at

Product Description

Amazon Review

Tokyo is another of Mo Hayder's deliciously chilling criminal outings, but probably won't produce the frisson of disapproval that such novels as Birdman and The Treatment did. The days are gone when Hayder was identified as one of a cadre of women writers who did something totally unacceptable: produce grisly crime novels quite as unsettling as the products of male imagination. People seem to have finally accepted that the tough crime novel needn't be an exclusively male preserve.

Her troubled female protagonist in Tokyo is Grey, haunting the thronging streets of Tokyo in search of an elusive piece of film recording the infamous Nanking massacre of 1937. But did the film ever exist? The past is a touchy subject for Grey, with incidents in her own life that she has not yet come to terms with. She ill-advisedly becomes a hostess in a nightclub where the clientele is a tad unsavoury (another example of Hayder utilising real-life crime for her plots, with the echoes of a recent murder case). And Grey finds a lead to her quest: a taciturn survivor of the massacre who is now an academic, with no time for the woman pestering him. But Grey makes progress with him--until she encounters a powerful Godfather figure and his violent associates, with a clandestine source for his well-being a much sought-after elixir. Soon, Grey's life becomes two things: very complicated and a place of considerable danger.

The change of locale for Mo Hayder here has ensured that the imaginative energy of her earlier books is consolidated, as is the rejection of the now hackneyed serial killer plot. Atmosphere is brilliantly sustained, set pieces are pulse-racing, and (most satisfying of all) Grey is a truly complex and damaged heroine, the perfect conduit for the reader through this dark world. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Haunting, lyrical, disturbing, important, suspenseful and wonderfully written" (HARLAN COBEN)

"Deeply felt and haunting. Elegiac and important. Most of all it sticks with you well after the final page is turned" (MICHAEL CONNELLY)

"Left me stunned and haunted. This is writing of breathtaking power and poetry" (TESS GERRITSEN)

"The epic thriller of the year" (KARIN SLAUGHTER) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
135 of 137 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE - DON'T PURCHASE IF YOU HAVE TOKYO 24 April 2005
I bought this book to add to my other Mo Hayder's. I found it during a search of Amazon a while ago and saw that it was to be published in late April so I ordered it. However, when the book arrived, it transpired that "The Devil of Nanking" is in fact an American version of Mo Hayder's "Tokyo" which has been available in this country for some time.
Despite the fact that "Tokyo" is an excellent book I don't think fans will want to read the same story again under a different title.
Just beware, because the Amazon site does not state anywhere that this is one and the same book and the marketing of the book leads you to believe it is a completely different book!
The most disappointing aspect of all this is that there is no new Mo Hayder available currently, so I'll just have to be patient and wait!
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tokyo, Mo Hayder 22 Jan 2005
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
I came to Tokyo straight after reading another first class thriller set in Japan, Susanna Jones's Water Lily. Yet it would be hard to conceive of any two books being more different. All that unites them is their quality and beautiful, poetic style - though even that is vastly different. Water Lily's is spare and delicate, Tokyo's gritty and elegiac. I recommend them both.
Tokyo tells two stories. The first if that of Grey, who has come to the city to seek out an obscure piece of film. It depicts some of the horrific atrocities committed by the Japanese during the 1937 Nanking Massacre. Many people doubt that the film even exists.
She hopes Shi Congming, a visiting professor at the University of Todai, will be able to help her. He is one of the few survivors of the massacre, and one report claims he is actually in possession of the film. However, he is at first unwilling to help her, and sends her away. Chongming's story is the second, told through his harrowing diary extracts written during the events of 1937.
Desperate and alone in a strange city that is caught between the Orient and the seductions of the Occident, Grey finds herself lodgings and takes a job as a hostess (informed by shades of Hayder's own experiences?) in a club that caters for all manner of wealthy Japanese men, including one of the most powerful and feared gangsters in the city.
Tokyo has been three years in the coming. Three long years. I would gladly wait that long again for another book of this quality from Hayder, who is certainly by far the best of the new generation of crime writers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Story.... 8 April 2011
When I began reading the book, I knew there would be a twist to the story relating back in history. The main character, Grey Hutchins had an interesting childhood, which is explained in detail bit by bit as the story develops.
Although some people may find the story disturbing, it was a little haunting however I do agree with the comment made by the author Michael Connelly that it sticks with you well after the final page is turned.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tokyo 26 Jun 2010
By Rich
A young woman who has a very murky past comes to Tokyo looking for proof that she is not mad. An old man who escaped the massacre of Nanking cannot escape from his memories. The two, come together, in order to find the answers they need.

Mo Hayder improves further with her third novel. Unlike 'Birdman' which wallowed in violence and torture, 'Tokyo' instead opts for leaving all the graphic detail to the reader's imagination. It's effective and makes the villains far more frightening.

The passages about Nanking are excellent and would have made a good novel on their own. The heroine is difficult to like, possibly because her real motivations aren't revealed until the end, by then I can see some readers may have given up. However, the ending is poignant and works.

Some of the plot is very predictable, but Hayder writes about what it's like to be in a strange country with perhaps even stranger people convincingly.

Worth taking a look at.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mo Hayder at her best 11 Feb 2010
Recently re-published, THE DEVIL OF NANKING is identical in all but title to the original novel TOKYO, and for me consolidates Mo Hayder as one of the very best thriller writers around today. Her more mainstream novels Birdman and The Treatment were excellent but this one is even better, despite it being a wholly different kind of story and one which you will probably be thinking about a year or more from now. It's one of those rare occasions when I was yearning to reach the end (to find out what happens) while knowing at all times that I will be a little bit emptier for doing so, because I knew that the chances of my next reading material being as entertaining as this are very slim. What a treat it is to be seduced, mesmerised and teased by the written word! Mo Hayder's is an exceptional talent, her research is comprehensive and convincing, her ability to create a sense of atmosphere a cut above the majority of her peers. I can vouch for at least some of this novel's authenticity as I lived in Tokyo for most of the 1990s myself, so little corporate touches such as Pocky's, Lawson Station and the Maranouchi Line bring back memories of a city that changed my life for the better, even if this tale might lead you to think only of its darker sides.

Although the violence of Hayder's first two books is less graphic here, she manages to build a story once again around a somewhat taboo subject. In her debut novels we had to come to terms with paedophilia and necrophilia, in The Devil of Nanking the subject matter is arguably the lowest and most repellent form of human activity; what makes it all the more shocking is that her fictional tale is based on events that supposedly did take place.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not her best
A bit confusing to start with having all the chinese/japanese names to contend with but compelling all the same. A good read.
Published 1 month ago by Jack Love
4.0 out of 5 stars aka "THE DEVIL OF NANKING"@US edition!!
this is a horror story set on 2 levels: the vicious depravities of some modern-day tokyo gangsters, and the 1937 nanking massacre by imperial japanese troops. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Zangiku
5.0 out of 5 stars reading...
this was as usual from Mo, an excellent chilling read. just starting my next read by the same author, thanks.
Published 3 months ago by jackie tew
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting story
I have just finished reading this, and have to say I think it is the best of all the Mo Hayder books I have read. Read more
Published 3 months ago by SusanS
5.0 out of 5 stars DFAJ
A very interesting though book quite horrifying in places, it has made me look into details of the Japanese attack on Nanking which was even more horrifying, actions repeated in... Read more
Published 4 months ago by D. F. A. James
5.0 out of 5 stars The most frightening and disturbing book I've EVER read!
I read a lot. I read a HELL of a lot! I've a library of 3000+ books at home, most of which I've read, and these doesn't even constitute a quarter of the total amount of books I've... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. V. F. R. Niekerk
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the squimish
Shocking, I'd never heard of the Nanking massacre, I found some parts hard to read because of the content. Very sad.
Published 5 months ago by julie
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal!
Gripping. Was hooked on this throughout, love the ending! One of her best books, so glad i bought it! Faultless
Published 5 months ago by systemofadown
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea!!!!!!!!
Don't think Mo Hayder fans will enjoy this one....Hard to follow jumping to and fro as well as being down right miserable, nearly gave up reading few times but thought had to get... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Elizabeth Gilbert
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the usual?
Completely different from what I expected but spellbinding I couldn't put it down. I was horrified and fascinated all at once!
Published 11 months ago by Karen Wilkinson
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