Setagaya ward, Tokyo Inspector Kosuke Iwata, newly transferred to Tokyo's homicide department, is assigned a new partner and a secondhand case. Blunt, hard as nails and shunned by her colleagues, Assistant Inspector Noriko Sakai is a partner Iwata decides it would be unwise to cross. A case that's complicated - a family of four murdered in their own home by a killer who then ate ice cream, surfed the web and painted a hideous black sun on the bedroom ceiling before he left in broad daylight. A case that so haunted the original investigator that he threw himself off the city's famous Rainbow Bridge. Carrying his own secret torment, Iwata is no stranger to pain. He senses the trauma behind the killer's brutal actions. Yet his progress is thwarted in the unlikeliest of places. Fearing corruption among his fellow officers, tracking a killer he's sure is only just beginning and trying to put his own shattered life back together, Iwata knows time is running out before he's taken off the case or there are more killings . . . Blue Light Yokohama is crime fiction at its very best - gripping, haunting, atmospheric and utterly captivating.
Having just returned from Japan, with a visit to Tokyo and other places mentioned in the book, I felt right at home reading this novel. I have tried to read a crime novel set in Japan before and became confused by the names, but I think this time, as I had met people with the same names as some of those in the book, and having used some of the language, it was not a problem for me.
I was intrigued by a crime novel set in Japan and it did not disappoint me, although the much deeper story running through the book is one not about crime, but about loss and denial.
Iwata has been assigned to the Shibuya section of the Tokyo police and no one is really happy to see him. His partner Sakai isn't exactly thrilled to be working with him either, so not a good start for Iwata. Coupled with Iwata having his own personal problems and flashbacks to his troubled youth I began to wonder if he wouldn't solve the case.
Some great sections of real detective work and who dunnits while you try and second guess Iwata.
Some of the book was a little far fetched - like him going to Hong Kong although suspended from the case and also him calling in favours from people he hardly knew - but of course they were needed to aid his solving of the case.
A fairly long book, when I finally caught up with Iwata's thinking and realised what was really happening I expected the book to shut down. However, it carried on for a fair few pages and another side of what had been happening throughout the book was seen. I actually went and re read the beginning of the book, as really if I had been able to keep that in my mind, there were some pretty big clues.
I loved being back in Japan through the pages of this book, even if it was a much seedier side than the one I saw. I was surprised to learn the book was not translated from Japanese. Some phrases and speech patterns felt like translations and added to the realism of the book.This is something that maybe wouldn't be apparent if you haven't visited Japan.
I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. My thanks to netgalley for an advance copy for review.