If you liked Lustbader’s Ninja or Donohue’s Sensei, you’ll undoubtedly like the Jodan Ju. The story ranges from the forest of Burma to Australia and from Japan to the United States while making a trip back to WWII.
A great read you’ll have trouble putting down.
I’m really looking forward to the sequel “East Wind Rain”.

JR Geoffrion    Goodreads Reveiwer  US

Review by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite  5 ☆☆☆☆☆

The Jodan Ju – The Upper Ten by Richard Smythe is an intriguing story that takes readers along with David Turner, a Vietnam veteran and a geologist, into the Australian outback. David Turner discovers that the Japanese company, Tanada Industries, is using strange Asians to illegally extract high-grade uranium. The trail taken by Turner, along with the help of Australian intelligence, leads them to Japan, to the rich and influential Tanada clan. The suicide of the Tanada patriarch and his son reveals other shady details of events that happened in the 1930s. Now the mine boss of the Tanada Industries, Jimmy Shan, is also the lieutenant of Yakuza, a Japanese Mafia. Intelligence agencies seek the help of Oishi Okimura, a martial artist, cop and enemy of the Yakuza, to help them crack their way into the crime families. The search is joined by Israel’s Mossad and what they find reveals the vengeful motives of Shan.

The story moves from Burma to Australia to Japan and then to the US, knitting together a contemporary plot and keeping readers riveted. The plot is intriguing, with many twists and turns, and takes readers on an adventure. The plot is fast-paced with the right amount of passion, war, adventure and suspense that makes it a compelling story. The author has handled the theme deftly, though there is some swearing, sex and violence in the story. The martial arts base also complements the action side of the plot. One of the most compelling stories I have read recently. The author’s expertise in knitting together many plots spanning many countries will keep readers entertained. Definitely an author to watch out for!


Reviewed By Samantha Rivera for Readers’ Favorite 5 ☆☆☆☆Jim Murphy’s life has been anything but simple. Of course, he’s tried to avoid talking about it as much as possible but that becomes difficult when a new threat comes to his home. For David Turner, the trip to visit Jim is just a favour to a friend. He knows something is going on from the manner of the request, but he’s sure it’s nothing serious. All of that begins to change with the discovery of uranium, a high-tech mining operation, a kidnapping and the murder of many. There’s something far more powerful and dangerous going on than even Jim could have imagined and now it’s going to be up to David to survive some of the most terrifying times of his life. The Jordan Ju by Richard Smythe will leave you searching for more. Being in Jim Murphy’s head, even for just the short while that we experience the war through his eyes, is something you will never forget. The scenes of fighting and war and even everyday living are so realistic you could easily imagine yourself there, fighting right alongside David and everyone who calls themselves his ally. The Jordan Ju is definitely a story of adventure and one of retribution as well. For David, and in a way for Jim as well, this battle will be the culmination of all they have suffered and it will be a final way to overcome the evil that overshadows their lives. This is the type of book you will have a hard time putting down, even when it’s over.


A very good read. Well researched and well written with a fast-moving and plausible plot.
Attention-grabbing and absorbing from the first page. From Australia to Japan to Burma to the USA – all customs and details of the various countries described in an informative and amazingly integrated story.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book from cover to cover – move over Clive Cussler and Bryce Courtney.
Graham Tietjen   New Zealand


This book has it all – believable characters in a contemporary story! A thriller that you just don’t want to put down. If you’re looking for a great read and you like fiction where the plot moves along at a rapid pace, and thrown into the mix is a healthy dose of war, passion and intrigue – then this novel is for you. It’s a great read.

Marilla Murphy   Noosa, Australia


You’ll want a long weekend for this great read – once you’ve started The Jodan Ju, it’s hard to put down. It is a great blend of history, culture and pathos; of old and new, East and West; of Samurai justice and nuclear threat.
Character development is excellent with a very real mix of good and absolute evil.
I felt all of interest, excitement, intrigue, anger, tears, satisfaction with this fascinating plot. Roll on the next novel.
Maria Schollum   Noosa, Australia

BeachLife has previewed the action-packed work of fiction and is highly impressed.’
Gray Clapham
   Publishing Editor, BeachLife Magazine   New Zealand

 ‘Can’t put the JJ down. A ripping yarn. Loving it.’  ‘All the elements I hoped for are there. A fitting end.’
Roger Cardwell    TV Anchorman, Gold Logie winner, Actor   Australia

 ‘I enjoyed The Jodan Ju. Good reading. An interesting plot with some fascinating motives.’
Daphne Harber    Ph.D   Australia

 ‘The Jodan Ju is an intriguing journey. Action and suspense move deftly through different eras with never a dull moment. Great read!’
Rhonda Kidby    Shy Librarian, Sports Illustrated Cover Girl   Australia

 ‘A well-written narrative in which history, mystery and action are interwoven. The outcome is riveting suspense!’
Carol Blackburn    Author, Resource Teacher of Literacy   New Zealand

‘After you have read a few pages you are taken on an experience of a lifetime. Can’t wait to see the movie!’
Ian Harrison QS    Commonwealth Fellow 1986   New Zealand

‘Be warned! This book is very hard to put down. It is a fast-paced thriller that is just asking to be made into a movie. I thought I would give it a quick flick through but got hooked on the story pretty damn quick. Really enjoyed it, the book felt fast-paced which is cool to get that from a book!’
Tony Schollum   New Zealand

What an awesome read! A book full of well-developed characters with a cracking storyline. Great mix of martial arts and action that keeps you reading till the end. Looking forward to see where Richard Smythe takes it from here! Tony Mason

Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite  4 ☆☆☆☆

The Jodan Ju is an epic historical thriller written by Richard Smythe. The action begins at the end of WWII. Jim Murphy is a prisoner of war in a camp that’s been evacuated of all but the prisoners too weak to be moved. A vicious Japanese captain, Shiro Mitani, has instructed the remaining guards to dispatch the prisoners. The guard assigned to Jim deliberately places the thrust in a non-fatal manner, and Jim lies there bleeding and feigning death as the guards are themselves dispatched. He watches as Mitani prepares to end his life, but instead runs off into the jungle. Years later, Jim is living on his acreage in Australia with his three dogs and the local wild animals. He’s done some prospecting and sent off some samples to be assessed. Jim’s surprised to be offered a huge lease payment for one year’s mining rights by a French company fronting for Tanada Industries. His curiosity about the buildings and their occupants, however, proves deadly. Richard’s Smythe’s historical thriller, The Jodan Ju, pits an Australian Vietnam vet, the Tanada Industries Security Chief and a small, handpicked crew against a sadistic descendant of Japanese aristocracy who has set in motion a scheme to destroy the United States. Smythe takes the reader through an impressive set of family sagas and Japanese culture as he sets the stage for his story. The Jodan Ju is not an easy read. There’s layer upon layer of plot, lots of high-tech action and an intricate cultural history, but the characters are quite compelling and their stories made me want to keep on reading this substantial work. Smythe creates a vibrant and complex world in The Jodan Ju, and an intense mix of heroes and villains who will remain with the reader long after they’ve finished the last page.

Review by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite  4 ☆☆☆

The Jodan Ju is a bizarre, fast-paced, action-packed, good versus evil, page-turning thriller. Richard Smythe writes a suspenseful tale of intrigue that keeps you second-guessing its outcome The plot twists and turns like a fighter pilot in an aerial dog fight. Uncertainty reigns when Western politics meets the Eastern, on-the-edge way of doing things. In Jodan Ju, modern technology confronts the old style, time forgotten tribal ways of the Samurai warrior. Deep within the highland jungle, in “the womb of the devil,” an unidentifiable breed of warriors is being trained in the forbidden Dark Way for a diabolical task. This revelation causes the Australian, Japanese, American and Israeli government intelligence agencies to work covertly together against, “An enemy common to all and more powerful than anyone of them alone.” In the end, what will prevail: The Way, honor or revenge?

Richard Smythe emphasized action and plot development in Jordan Ju. The narrative is written with several points of view; at times I felt that the plot itself was a character. The distinctive cultural differences of the characters and their placement within the plot were decisive. Written with precision, you sense the characters’ emotions, especially during fight scenes. The author’s writing style alludes to the mysticism and symbolism of the martial arts, and the implication of Japanese “saving face” culture. Dialogues were a relevant blend of Aussie slang, formal Japanese, and contemporary colloquial American vernacular. Maintaining a fast-paced story line, time frames would switch when the intrigue was peaking, yet would return to the present as if it never digressed. Jordan Ju depicts an aggressive, vicious antagonist, while delivering a promising, hopeful resolution with its “never surrendering” protagonists.

[Using the single (‘) quote noting dialogue, instead of double (“) quotations was a mistake throughout the book and the explicit sex scenes (too much for my taste) were my reasons for not giving a five star overall rating.]

Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite  4 ☆☆☆☆

The Jodan Ju by Richard Smythe introduces us to David Turner, SAS Vietnam veteran and geologist. He has discovered a mine in the outback of Australia that is being operated by strange Asians who are taking out enriched high-grade uranium. Jimmy Shan who runs the mine is polite but he is also a ruthless lieutenant of the Yakuza. Turner and a physicist named Leonard Lee follow leads to Japan and find the connection to the powerful industrialist Tanada family. The hunt is joined by Oishi Okimura, a cop and skilled martial artist, and then even later by Israel’s Mossad.

This story has more twists and turns in it then I have seen in a very long time and I enjoyed every single one. Some of the language was a little rough, but given the subject matter, you would expect it to be. This is an international manhunt striving to stop a man’s revenge. Richard Smythe knows how to keep a reader interested and present the story in an arc that is gripping and entertaining. This is a longer book, however, with as much information as you need in those pages and you don’t feel that you have just started and then it ends. Throughout this story, I felt the gamut of emotions that only a truly good story can make me feel. The characters are very human and you feel a connection to them, which brings you deeper into the story and events. I would highly recommend this to any reader who loves a good adventure, a spy story and, of course, a little bit of history.



3 thoughts on “REVIEWS

  1. What an awesome read! A book full of well developed characters with a cracking storyline. Great mix of martial arts and action that keeps you reading till the end. Looking forward to see where Richard Smythe takes it from here!

  2. Hey how are you all ! I don’t think I ever told you how much I enjoyed your book! As a very slow reader it took me a while BUT I truely loved it ! Have told the girls in my book club who have kindles or IPads to down load it.

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