by Higashino, Keigo; Murray, Giles (TRN)

Newly transferred to a precinct in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo, Detective Kyochiro Kaga, while investigating the puzzling murder of a woman, soon discovers that nearly all the people living and working in the business district of Nihonbashi are suspects.

KEIGO HIGASHINO is the bestselling, best-known novelist in Japan and around Asia, with numerous television and film adaptations of his work appearing in several languages. He's the author of The Devotion of Suspect X, which was a finalist for the Edgar Award for best novel, and Malice. He lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Unorthodox Tokyo detective Kyoichiro Kaga (introduced in Malice?, 2014) has been reassigned to the Nihonbashi precinct and is still acquainting himself with the quaint premodern neighborhood when another newcomer, Mineko Mitsui, is found strangled in her apartment. The savvy killer has left no trace of himself, leaving Kaga and the lead detective, Uesugi, to mine clues from the inconsistencies of Mineko's last day. While Uesugi employs more direct questioning, Kaga unexpectedly pops up into Nihonbashi's traditional Japanese shops, where his seemingly simple questions unmask family secrets, hidden loyalties, and heartbreak. In Kaga's capable hands, a box of wasabi-laced sweets, a pair of kitchen shears, a witness' incongruous statement, Mineko's last visit to her regular pastry shop, and a child's toy become breadcrumbs leading to a killer. Kaga's second investigation is a cerebral puzzler's delight that, like Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency mysteries, offers a thought-provoking take on the tension between modernity and traditional culture and leaves a trail of mended relationships in its wake. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Demoted back to local policing from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Division, Kyochiro Kaga (Malice, 2014) makes a deep impression on the quiet Nihonbashi Precinct. The girl at the rice cracker shop is probably the first to notice Kaga's novel approach to investigation. Rather than focusing on the crime scene in Kodenmacho where Mineko Mitsui was found strangled in her apartment, Kaga begins by looking at the rhythms of the street. Why do businessmen walking from the Hamacho neighborhood to the Ningyocho subway station still have their jackets on, while the men coming from Ningyocho have them slung over their shoulders? Naho Kamikawa, the shopkeeper's granddaughter, feigns indifference as she sits sipping her banana juice with Kaga, but still she's impressed at his perceptiveness. So are Yoriko, owner of a traditional restaurant down the street, and Akifumi, the apprentice at irascible Mr. Terada's clock shop. As author Higashino describes Kaga's incursion into the lives he finds at each of the street's small shops, he seems to be crafting a chain of tiny, gemlike short stories—until the tales start intersecting, scaffolding on one another, and eventually creating a bridge between the lives of the longtime residents of Kodenmacho and the death of a woman who, for her own private reasons, chose to live in this obscure quarter of one of the world's busiest cities. Part Sherlock Holmes, part Harry Bosch, Higashino's hero is a quietly majestic force to be reckoned with. Here's hoping his demotion continues to bring him to the attention of readers from East to West. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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