Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Last Mr. Moto

Right You Are, Mr. Moto – John P. Marquand

The last Mr. Moto novel has had numerous titles:  The Last of Mr. Moto, Stopover Tokyo, and Right You Are, Mr. Moto.

The Pacific War and American Occupation are over, but Mr. Moto is still working in Intelligence.
He teams up with two American spies, Jack Rhyce and Ruth Bogart, to expose Communist subversives who want to force Japan into the Red Camp. Jack and Ruth are standard Marquand characters (blue-bloods, natural aristocrats) who are going through changes in their lives that conflict with their duties.

Marquand like the themes of passages in life and feelings versus duties. An ex-intelligence operative himself, he describes closely and realistically the stress and fatigue of always having to play a part while undercover.

C. Hugh Holman, a University of North Carolina professor who helped establish the National Humanities Center, considered this book to be the best Mr. Moto novel of the six that Marquand wrote. I agree that readers who like the serious spy fiction a la John Bingham or John Le Carre would probably like this one too.

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