From the author of the highly acclaimed Tokyo Year Zero and Occupied City–an elecrifying, mesmerizing new novel about a high-profile crime that occurs in Tokyo during the occupation and goes cold, haunting the lives of both American and Japanese investigators for the next forty years.
Tokyo, July 1949: the president of the Japanese National Railways goes missing just a day after announcing 30,000 layoffs. In the midst of the U.S. occupation, against the backdrop of widespread social, political, and economic reforms, as tensions and confusion reign, American Detective Harry Sweeney–fighting against his own disillusion and demons–leads the missing person’s investigation. Fifteen years later, a resurgent Tokyo prepares for the 1964 Olympics and the global spotlight. Private investigator Hideki Murota, a former policeman during the occupation, is given a case that forces him to go back to confront a time, a place, and the crime he’s been hiding from for the past fifteen years. More than twenty years later, in the autumn and winter of 1988, as the Emperor Showa is dying, Donald Reichenbach, an aging American, eking out a living in Japan teaching and translating, discovers that the final reckoning of the greatest mystery of the Showa Era is now up to him to solve.
On January 26, 1948, a man posing as a public health official arrives at a bank in Tokyo. He explains that he’s there to treat everyone who might have been exposed to a recent outbreak of dysentery. Soon after drinking the medicine he administers, twelve employees are dead, four are unconscious, and the “official” has fled. Twelve voices tell the story of the murder from different perspectives including a journalist, a gangster-turned-businessman, an “occult detective,” and a well-known painter. Each voice enlarges and deepens the portrait of a city and a people making their way out of a war-induced hell. Told with David Peace’s brilliantly idiosyncratic and mesmerizing voice, Occupied City is a stunningly audacious work from a singular writer.
It’s August 1946—one year after the Japanese surrender—and women are turning up dead all over Tokyo. Detective Minami of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police—irreverent, angry, despairing—goes on the hunt for a killer known as the Japanese Bluebeard—a decorated former Imperial soldier who raped and murdered at least ten women amidst the turmoil of post-war Tokyo. As he undertakes the case, Minami is haunted by his own memories of atrocities that he can no longer explain or forgive. Unblinking in its vision of a nation in a chaotic, hellish period in its history, Tokyo Year Zero is a darkly lyrical and stunningly original crime novel.