Picks and Pans Review: The Last Mandarin
by Stephen Becker
World War II is over. The Japanese have fled China, and Jack Burnham, an American engineer who grew up there, is assigned to track down kanamori, a depraved Japanese officer who raped and murdered hundreds. Burnham must work fast because Mao's men are approaching Peking. But—oh, wonderful, ancient plot!—Burnham falls in love with a beautiful Chinese doctor, then finds kanamori. Perhaps so many people will travel to China that it will lose its appeal as a locale for old-fashioned adventure. But in the hands of Becker, a consistently entertaining novelist, the mystique is still there. (Random House, $9.95)
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