Gate of the Tigers, by Henry Meigs (pseud.), Harvill 1992, 358pp.
Someone on Amazon gave a bad review to the Sujata Massey detective stories set in Japan, saying they could be set anywhere since the characters' behavior (like contradicting strangers) is not really Japanese. Now I have to admit that I have enjoyed most of Ms Massey's mysteries, largely for their Japanese/gaijin setting and fluffy romance. So I thought I had better try the Meigs book. Sadly, it misses out on what a thriller really needs: suspense. It is pretty clear from the beginning, and does not change much over the course of the plot, that the murdered American spy was set up by someone Japanese. Meanwhile we are treated to various noir tropes like the observation that all wide-shouldered women are gagging for it. The in-depth understanding about the Japanese psyche seems to concentrate on their fondness for revenge.
It just goes to show that you cannot really trust the reviews of random people on Amazon.