Features

Japanese crime fiction: Six of the best

The Japanese love to read. A combination of near-universal literacy and long commute times means that you’re likely to see trains full of everyone from high school students to company owners with an open manga, paperback or kindle. This, coupled with a less clear distinction…
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KindlePrintReviews

The Dark Maidens

Written by Rikako Akiyoshi, translated by Kristi Fernandez, art by Booota — Every now and then you find yourself reading a book you’d never normally discover. Maybe you read a review and it sounded interesting, maybe you were late for a train and had to…
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Cult X

Written by Fuminori Nakamura, translated by Kalau Almony — Cult X is an ambitious novel, one that pushes boundaries and redefines what crime fiction can be. At 512 pages, it’s also the size of a house brick, with a huge amount of information crammed into…
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Soul Cage

Written by Tetsuya Honda, translated by Giles Murray — On some scaffolding nine storeys above the Tokyo skyline, an unnamed narrator is having an exchange with Tadaharu Mishima, a deadbeat dad and sometimes construction work who has a pachinko problem. They are on their lunch break….
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The Ginza Ghost and Other Stories

Written by Keikichi Osaka, translated by Ho-Ling Wong — Tokyo has changed a great deal in the past century or so. There have been two catastrophic earthquakes, heavy bombing during World War II, and spiralling property prices that led to an eventual collapse. On the…
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PrintReviews

Deep Red

Written by Hisashi Nozawa, translated by Asumi Shibata — Kanako Akiba is 11 years old and just like any other sixth-grader, laughing with her friends and sharing scary stories late at night on thespring trip. But when her teacher barges in and tells her she’s been…
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KindlePrintReviews

The Moai Island Puzzle

Written by Alice Arisugawa, translated by Ho-Ling Wong — Golden Age mysteries are formulaic and, far from being a flaw, it’s a major part of their appeal. The stories follow patterns, and the reward for readers is not in being tricked by a new and…
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The Silent Dead

Written by Tetsuya Honda, translated by Giles Murray — Recently I lamented the decline of the classic police procedural – but how quickly I’ve been proven wrong. The genre appears truly alive and well, not least of all in Japan, where authors such as Hideo…
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