Kage: The Shadow A Connor Burke Martial Arts ThrillerKage: The Shadow A Connor Burke Martial Arts Thriller by John Donohue

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t read a lot of thrillers, but I’ve read all four of Donohue’s novels. Donohue’s characters don’t just wade in with guns blazing; they live with the consequences of their actions. His main character, Burke, a scholar and advanced martial artist, can deal with a tough situation–Donohue writes a good fight scene. Burke has the sardonic humor characteristic of the genre. He’s also a fully formed character with a family, a social life, a profession, and a fully developed range of opinions and quirks. But most importantly for me, he’s reflective. He brings not just his martial skill to a fight, but his martial philosophy and mind-body training. In other words, Donohue’s work has depth and texture.

In terms of depth and texture, “Kage” is probably Donohue’s best work yet. I finished the book in two days, recommended to everyone at my dojo, and am thinking about reading it again. It’s a really good read, and it’s much more than a really good read.

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