Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Blue light Yokohama by Nicolas Obregon

Blue Light Yokohama by new author Nicolas Obregon starts with a bang - a disturbing and violent incident on a cable car in Japan. Fast forward 15 years and two detectives are hired to investigate the murder of a family in their own home. The killer left behind no traces, only a black sun symbol painted on the wall and evidence of some strange rituals. He apparently ate ice cream, surfed the net and left the house in broad daylight after the killings.
Detectives Kosuke Iwate, a troubled soul with a tragic past, and Noriko Sakai, a hardened, enigmatic young police officer come together to try and solve the mystery of the murders.
Iwate and Sakai travel around the country, following up different leads and the story goes back in time where we learn about Iwate's difficult childhood and troubled homelife with his wife. As another murder occurs, many threads are woven into the story, and the significance of the first incident in the cable car comes to light. Slowly the pieces of the story start to come together.
Taken off the case as corrupt cops frame an innocent man, Iwate risks his reputation and his life to pursue his own investigation as he believes he will find the killer, and needs to, as he knows who the next victim will be.

This is not the type of book I would normally read, but I enjoyed the Japanese setting of the book, and the pace was not too frenetic, enough to keep the story going, but not non stop action. It is a poetically written, intriguing story of the darker side of Tokyo society, cults, police corruption, loneliness in the big city and how the past shapes our lives. The title Blue Light Yokohama refers to a song, the lyrics of which are repeated throughout the story, a constant reminder of past events in Iwate's life.

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