“A gripping, twisty thriller…deftly, tautly plotted.”

 — Kirkus Reviews

“[A] stunning debut thriller.” 

— Barry Eisler, New York Times bestselling author of the Livia Lone and John Rain series

“5 out of 5…The gripping thriller Ways to Die in Tokyo follows a broken man as he tries to rebuild his family—and to survive Tokyo’s criminal underground…intriguing and insightful…suspenseful…emotional and satisfying.”

— Foreword Clarion Reviews


[Garver] has crafted an engaging, if violence-laden, story that introduces readers to the underbelly of Tokyo. There’s plenty of action, suspense, and even some romance as Fisher’s saga unfolds, keeping readers on their toes. [Garver] is able to tell the story at a perfect pace that keeps the reader invested. [He] succeeds in defining the characters through their actions…particularly Fisher, who at first presents as a hot-headed brute, but evolves to become highly sympathetic. This book is fresh and unique, offering a vivid setting and distinctive characters. The author does a fine job with characterization, particularly for Fisher, but also for lesser players who enhance the story.”

— The BookLife Prize

This stunning debut thriller has all my favorite elements: a gritty street-level view of Tokyo; bone-crunching martial arts; the kind of realism only someone with actual experience could conjure; and of course, central to it all, a broken protagonist, Hank Fisher, who wants to get his life together but can’t seem to stop self-sabotaging. Well, Fisher is about to get an education—and with enough yakuza and corrupt cops trying to punch his ticket, he’d better learn fast. Five stars for fans of Japan, action, and protagonists with a (long) shot at redemption.

– Barry Eisler, New York Times bestselling author

Filled with violent action and a lot of heart, Ways to Die in Tokyo is a tale about how you sometimes need to hit rock bottom before you can find redemption. Thomas Ran Garver has crafted a novel with an exceedingly compelling plot and intricate characters that is a lot of fun to read.

– Steve Netter, Best Thriller Books

“Written by a man who clearly knows his way through the back alleys of the seedier parts of Tokyo, this fast-paced thriller is a rare combination of action, suspense, and cultural insight.”

– Amazon Customer

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About the Author

Tokyo-based lawyer and author Thomas Ran Garver was born and raised in Northern California. A long-time student of the Japanese language, Garver first traveled to Japan on a year-long study-aboard program in college. He returned to the country as a graduate student a few years later and then worked for several years as a translator at a Tokyo-based investment bank before attending law school in the US.

Garver has had a lifelong interest in the martial arts and began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) in Los Angeles in 1995. He holds black belts in both judo and BJJ.

Ways to Die in Tokyo is his first novel and the first book in a projected trilogy featuring the expat MMA fighter Hank Fisher.

Garver is married with two children. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, writing, and exploring Tokyo’s amazing food scene.