A thrilling postmodern noir about the real-life disappearance, in 1949, of one of Japan’s most powerful figures, and the three men who try–and fail–to crack the case.
Tokyo, July 1949. The president of the National Railways of Japan vanishes. As American and Japanese investigators scrambled for answers, the case went cold–and it remains unsolved to this day. In Tokyo Redux, celebrated crime writer David Peace channels drama, research, and intrigue into this strikingly intelligent fictionalization of Japan’s most enduring and haunting mystery.
Spanning decades, Peace’s novel reveals how the lives of three men all come to revolve around the same inexpicable disappearance. Starting in American-occupied Tokyo, where tension and confusion reign, American detective Harry Sweeney leads the missing-person investigation for General MacArthur’s GHQ. Fifteen years later, as Tokyo prepares for the global spotlight as host of the summer Olympics, private investigator Murota Hideki–who was a policeman during the Occupation–is confronted by this very same case, and is forced to address something he’s been hiding for more than a decade. And twenty-plus years after that, as Emperor Shōwa lays 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 era is now in his hands.
The concluding installment of Peace’s acclaimed Tokyo Trilogy, Tokyo Redux is a page-turning portrait of post-World War II Tokyo and an inside look into a storied crime that continues to haunt multiple generations.
“An extraordinary and highly original crime novel” (New York Times Book Review) that plunges us into post–World War II Occupied Japan in a Rashomon–like retelling of a mass poisoning (based on an actual event), its aftermath, and the hidden wartime atrocities that led to the crime.
“Hugely daring, utterly irresistible, deeply serious and unlike anything I have ever read.”—New York Times Book Review
On January 26, 1948, a man identifying himself as a public health official arrives at a bank in Tokyo. There has been an outbreak of dysentery in the neighborhood, he explains, and he has been assigned by Occupation authorities to treat everyone who might have been exposed to the disease. 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. One of the victims speaks, for all the victims, from the grave. We read the increasingly mad notes of one of the case detectives, the desperate letters of an American occupier, the testimony of a traumatized survivor. We meet a journalist, a gangster-turned-businessman, an “occult detective,” a Soviet soldier, 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.
Occupied City immerses us in an extreme time and place with a brilliantly idiosyncratic, expressionistic, mesmerizing narrative. It is a stunningly audacious work of fiction from a singular writer.
Unblinking in its vision of a nation in a chaotic, hellish period in its history, Tokyo Year Zero is a “brilliant, perplexing, claustrophobic … exhilarating” crime novel (The New York Times Book Review).
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.