Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.
Tokyo during a hot summer, a mutilated body is found in a suburban park
and later, the remains of eleven other victims are discovered. All are linked
to a sinister internet group by the name of Strawberry Night for whom murder is
the ultimate thrill. For Lieutenant Reikio, the youngest female homicide
detective on the force, this will be the most challenging case of her career.
The killer knows her name; meaning it could also be the last.
In Bloody Murder
his magisterial survey of the genre Julian Symons expressed the hope that
readers of crime fiction would become less parochial in their tastes and
discover an interest in what the cops of Tokyo's 87th Precinct might be like. That was back in 1972 and although things have moved on somewhat it is
still hard for novels from outside Europe or the US to get the attention they
This enjoyable novel, the first in a
series with a strong following in Honda's native Japan, demonstrates how much
we are missing out on as a result.
Some aspects of The
Silent Dead do owe a considerable debt to the template Ed McBain
created. The setting on the mean streets of a big city where wealth and squalor
exist cheek by jowl, and a repertory company of detectives with Reikio as its
central figure; and an interest in the comradeship formed by police officers
Like McBain, Honda has a superlative
feeling for time and place, for the stiff socially constrained America of the
1950’s, he substitutes the economically challenged Japan of the 2000’s. The
troubles of modern urban life collide with the complicated dance of tradition;
courtesy and shame that characterise Japanese life in a way that, to Western
readers, is genuinely fascinating.
This makes for a take on the police
procedural that is both familiar and unusual. The plotting is strong and the
relationships between the main characters are sufficiently well drawn to
promise profitable exploration in the books that follow.
The next instalment in the series, Invisible
Rain, is due out in May 2017, it promises to be worth waiting for.