Kage The Shadow is the new Connor Burke Martial Arts Thriller by John Donohue, and it continues with the adventures that Burke inevitably finds himself in. Regarding these adventures, or situations, I really liked the conversation between Burke and his girlfriend, Sarah. She asks if the situations are who Burke is. When he tells her he doesn’t create the situations, she replies by asking “What if, deep down, you do? What if you set yourself up for them? What if you need them?” The way Donohue delves deeper into the motivations behind Burke, along with the musings of Eastern philosophy and martial arts, makes this book not only an exciting read, but interesting and reflective at the same time.
The story starts out simple enough. Burke takes a job where he’ll use his education and background to review the writings, notes, and unfinished manuscripts of a deceased author to provide a report for the deceased’s daughter. He never realized his digging would uncover secrets some would kill to protect and that he’d be relying on help from his cop brother and his partner to not only solve the mysterious happenings, but also on his teacher and mentor, karate master and warrior Yamashita. Because what those who want the secrets kept don’t realize is that Burke is as stubborn as a pit bull and even more difficult to kill. His fighting skills, learned from years with Yamashita and hours upon hours of training, become more than just exercises, but necessary for survival.
As a martial artist, and a fan of thrillers, I really enjoyed Donohue’s newest adventure. It’s a fun, fast paced, read that delivers in a variety of areas. You have martial arts and Eastern philosophy, you have action, suspense, and mystery, and you have interesting characters that Donohue allows you to learn about, care about, and want to know what will happen next. Burke is a complex person, made more so by his relationship with Yamashita, and this really adds to the story.
The crispness of Donohue’s writing, and the readability of this tale will appeal to all thriller readers, not just martial artists. However, I believe martial artists, like me, will especially enjoy this read. Donohue interjects just enough action, training, and philosophy, and he has a good grasp on being a martial artist and Eastern philosophy, to engage and entertain all martial artist readers, and especially those who study Japanese arts. Kage The Shawdow this Connor Burke Martial Arts Thriller is highly recommended.