One of my top 5 books. It's very easy to place some people I know in the situations set out in the book. Tolstoy writes about individuals the way Michener writes about a culture. In both cases you feel you know the subjects well after reading the books.
Shibumi is a novel published in 1979, written in English by Trevanian, a pseudonym of Rodney William Whitaker, an American academic who remained mysterious throughout most of his life. Shibumi is set in the 1970s and details the struggle between the "Mother Company", a conspiracy of energy companies that secretly controls much of the western world, and a highly-skilled assassin, Nicholaï Hel.