A tough Tokyo detective faces resistance in his new post as he faces off against a brutal and taunting serial killer.
Workaholic police inspector Iwata faces resistance from the moment he arrives at Tokyo’s Division One. Senior inspector Isao Shindo questions his education, his experience, and his readiness for the grittiness of the Tokyo PD. Indeed, Iwata is plagued by nightmares. Luckily for him and the reader, Iwata is partnered with Sakai, a brash female detective. Their first case, from a large stack of the unsolved, is the murder of the Korean Kaneshiro family, killed in their home. The four family members were all brutally butchered and the father's heart removed. The only clue is a jagged black sun the killer etched on the ceiling in sooty smudges. Leads come in from various directions. The teenage Takako Kaneshiro had a perverted stalker; her father, Tsunemasa, was being harassed at work; the family stood in the way of a housing development represented by a scary ex-con named Kiyota. More murders follow, with the sun symbol left behind as a calling card, and the press labels the perp The Black Sun Killer. Iwata and Sakai, disrespected by the department, must fight for additional resources. Their path to the killer is long and tangled, leading far from the city and to a former investigator who holds valuable secrets.
Obregon’s full-bodied prose is by turns gritty and poetic, and it’s consistently energetic. Given the terrific chemistry between the two lead detectives, here’s hoping this debut novel kicks off a new series.