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Tuesday, 9 July 2019

‘Prefecture D’ by Hideo Yokoyama

Published by Riverrun,
21 March 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-78648-463-5 (HB)

A sudden strange out-of-character refusal to move on the part of a legendary detective; an anonymous tip-off about a station chief; a missing female officer; a wronged politicial planning revenge.

These four tricksy stories, each about 50 pages, are set in the Administration Department of Prefecture D Police Headquarters, and centre around the all-important yearly transfers: who will retire, who achieve promotion, who passed over.

In Season of Shadows we meet Futawari, the conscientious clerk given the task of investigating why the legendary Osakabe refuses to retire, and Cry of the Eearth stars his underling, Shindo, who has to investigate an anonymous letter accusing a too-longserving station chief of an affair with the mama-san of a brothel. Already fighting prejudice at work, Section Chief Nanao, in charge of the female officers, finds herself caught on the back foot when her best young officer doesn’t turn up for work. Finally, Assistant Chief Tsuge, in charge of  Assembly Relations, finds out that one of the Assemblymen intends to try to discredit the police with an unscheduled question – how far must he go to discover what will it be? As well as a fascinating glimpse of different aspects of Japan’s policing, these stories are filled with cross and double cross, and each has the classic sting in the tail.

Clever classic detection in an interestingly evoked background from one of Japan’s finest crime writers.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Hideo Yokoyama was born in 1957. He worked for twelve years as an investigative reporter with a regional newspaper north of Tokyo, before becoming one of Japan's most acclaimed fiction writers. His first novel to be translated into the English language, Six Four, was a Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and paperback, became the first Japanese novel to be shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger, was named in the Crime and Thrillers of 2016 roundups in each of the Guardian, Telegraph, Financial Times and Glasgow Herald, and has since been translated into thirteen languages worldwide.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

Click on the title to read a review of her recent book Death in Shetland Waters

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