Keppan: The Blood Oath
A Connor Burke Martial Arts Thriller
Winston Takahashi is a charismatic yoga teacher who dies under mysterious circumstances. A nationally famous innovator in yoga circles, he was on the cusp of dramatically expanding his commercial yoga empire. When he dies, the authorities suggest a coronary anomaly, but there are other possibilities.
The range of complex and shady deals Winston made to fund the expansion of his commercial empire may have been a cause. Money was owed and Winston had been unable to pay. The hard-eyed men who fronted the investment make people pay one way or the other. His followers had also turned a blind eye to Winston’s womanizing for years, but now for every grieving student there is a jealous and resentful lover in the background who may have finally taken revenge.
Despite her suspicions, Takahashi’s wife Brittany prefers to support a different story for Win’s death: it was the unleashing of mysterious yogic power that killed him. She knew that he was engaged highly advanced training in the yogic discipline of Kundalini that was designed to unleash the full potential of psychic energy known in yoga circles as prana. Brittany is determined to honor her husband’s life’s work and is also is desperate to find a way to financial security with his passing. As a result, she’s not interested in looking too deeply at Winston’s life and his enemies. She’s shrewd enough to know that Takahashi’s death has some market potential if she can perpetuate her story about her husband’s valiant exploration of the mysteries of Kundalini.
But New York City homicide detective Rachel Montoya thinks differently. She can’t prove anything, and the Medical Examiner’s report is inconclusive. She’s been told to accept the official report of a simple coronary and move on to newer cases. But what she has learned about Winston Takahashi –a serial womanizer with many enemies whose latest business deals were financed by venture capital from a suspicious Russian outfit in Brooklyn—nags at her. She can’t do anything officially, but starts calling in favors.
To get to the truth, she needs someone outside the department to run her suspicions down. She needs someone with an insider’s knowledge of the esoteric aspects of Asian disciplines, with the research skills needed to separate mystic hype from reality, who also has had some experience with criminal investigations. Mickey Burke, watching his brother Connor struggle with rehabilitation in the aftermath of Yamashita’s death, thinks Connor will be perfect for her project.
Embroiled in controversy with the wealthy Miyazaki family over the control of Yamashita’s dojo, Burke welcomes the distraction of Montoya’s proposal to investigate Takahashi’s death. He soon discovers that solving this mystery is as dangerous as it is difficult. Burke is plunged once again into the world of esoteric Asian disciplines, where the relations between master and disciple, and the conflict of perpetuating ancient codes of honor and purpose in a world focused on money and celebrity generate lethal consequences.