Newcomer: Japanese intrigue

Japanese crime fiction is very different to its British and American counterparts, and this devious murder-mystery is definitely unconventional – and delightfully indulgent. The newcomer of the title is Sergeant Kaga, a compassionate and perceptive detective who’s recently arrived in Tokyo. While the lead policemen rush and bluster to solve the violent death of a…

The Lady Killer: Japanese whodunnit

An artful, old fashioned murder mystery which merrily leads its investigators (and the reader) along a convoluted pathway scattered with clues. Even the title is a masterful play on words, open to several interpretations… more than one of which may be correct. The Lady Killer isn’t as outright bizarre as more modern Japanese crime fiction,…

The Devil’s Whisper: when manipulation becomes murder

The blunt force trauma of the opening pages in this typically Japanese murder-mystery grabbed my attention and propelled me headlong into its narrative. In uncompromising terms we learn the details of a series of seemingly unconnected suicides, of young women who throw themselves to certain death rather than face whatever stalks them. The matter of…

Malice: ingenious, intricate and involving

This is an utter gem of a murder-mystery, a story which delights and deceives every step of the way. It’s set in Japan and was written back in 1996. They’re still using fax machines and email is far from common, a plot-point which not only forms part of the story but serves to cement it…