A career-making case gets away from the smart, ambitious Japanese cop who’s been working his dream job. Or does it?
After 17 months of 14-hour days for Inspector Hideo Aoki of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police and the elite team he’d assembled, the Director General tells him that famously crooked ex-governor Yukio Tamaki (aka The Fatman) has become untouchable. The news shouldn’t have come as such a shock to an officer as experienced as Aoki (Eye of the Abyss, 2003, etc.). He knew exactly how well-connected Tamaki was to major political, financial and yakuza figures. Still, as the days had passed and the DG continued to smile, Aoki had grown cocky, over-confident, a sucker for the knockout punch. Now Aoki finds himself yesterday’s golden boy, persona non grata in all his favorite cop corners. His immediate superior sends him into virtual exile to the small, remote Kamakura Inn, where, it turns out, the high-profile guests are not at all what one might have expected, murderers stalk at night and links to his fat ex-target are disturbingly unavoidable.
Too many unnecessary twists and turns maybe, but Browne’s strengths—character, atmosphere, a sense of place—make it well worthwhile.