Bedeviled

The Bang Devils, a black-humored novel about a cross-cultural kidnapping gone wrong, is awash in gore. Joints are crushed, cartilage exposed, skulls pulped with crowbars, corpses mutilated, and most of the survivors sport fresh stumps in place of pinky fingers. First-time author Patrick Foss is more than happy to sacrifice lives and digits to keep the plot moving.

The cause of all this carnage is gaijin hubris—the belief, embraced by foolish foreigners, that one can get away with anything in Japan. Jessica Romano, a blond-bombshell nightclub hostess from Chicago, and Chris Ryan, a Floridian slacker and small-time drug...

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