Who is Mr Satoshi? I'm not sure I ever really cared, but for all the mystery that this novel would like to have, it seems to have been given away very early on.
Jonathan Lee tells a story of Foss, a photographer recovering from personal tragedy, dealing with his mother's dying wish that he deliver some enveloped to a former sweetheart who went by the name of Satoshi and who might live in Japan. Thus, Foss gathers all his courage together and heads out to Japan - shame it took 90 pages for him to do it.
In Japan, Foss meets a pink haired student called Chiyoko. Lee reminds us often that Chiyoko has pink hair which is a good thing because the reader would otherwise forget - the detail is so very forgettable. Chiyoko drops her life to accompany Foss on this quest although there's no obvious reason for her to do this.
There is a clear effort to mirror some of the surreality of successful Japanese (or Japan-set) novels. Hence, we can see nods to Ryu Murakami (e.g. Coin Locker Babies), Natsuo Kirino's Real World, and Davis Mitchell's number9dream. Unfortunately, the surreality is not developed enough to overcome an otherwise implausible plot and a distinct lack of suspense.
There are no twists, no bombshells. Even as each discovery is made on the path to Satoshi, it merely confirms what the reader had already assumed. And the actual effort to find Satoshi is also not extensive - it seems to consist of looking things up in a library and then chatting to a chance stranger who conveniently knows the answer. No characterisation either. Nor any great insight into Japan - just a string of clichés: sushi, love hotels, neon advertising, sumo wrestling, high prices, automatic taxi doors, ... It's as though the story is there to fill the pages, and the pages are there to fill time.
There's nothing actually wrong with Who Is Mr Satoshi, just that there's nothing terribly right about it either. It is a classic work of neutral. It's vanilla ice cream.