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on 5 June 2017
For once a crime fiction story with no red herrings.The mystery of the initial murder slowly unravels as each clue is explored and linked to next clue.It is good old fashioned plot that satisfies.The atmosphere of early 60s Japan is captured beautifully.My big problem is just how sexist a culture it is.All men are very polite to each other,showing great respect and heroic.However all women are trivial,trodden on and viewed as mildly irritating by their spouses.Very enjoyable read
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on 26 April 2015
It is a good thriller but at times I found the plot too lengthy and confusing and I was not understanding where Inspector was getting with all clues he was collecting about the railway murder case and how it was related to the Nouveau Group members. What I find disturbing is that you only get a glimpse of the murderer as though he is a side character and not the main one in the investigation! You don't get the grip that plugs you to the novel! It took me more time to read this one!! and the revelation about the motive was a bit disappointing I would as the author keep taking us to different parts of Japan with different characters without revealing any clue why or how it could be related to the murder case. I find the story a bit confusing honestly. I confess that I was a bit lost with the plot and trying to get on the rails many times but in the end I finished the book ! That's positive!
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on 2 November 2012
The other reviews and my interest in Japan and detective novels caused me to buy this for my Kindle. It was an enjoyable enough read but it is not worth the level of stars so far given so I thought it only fair to add an opposing view.

The good points

It does conjure up a historical Japan in the age when the country was in the early stages of its post-war economic miracle (I particularly enjoyed it when the bill came to 750 yen after an evening of eating and drinking). There are some interesting twists and turns to the plot.

The bad points

The writing is quite stilted at parts (this might partly be a convention of Japanese crime writing at the time). The plot relies on the most outrageous coincidences to an absurd degree as well as a murderer who embarks on several quite unnecessary actions which helps the dogged Inspector Imanishi pin it on him. The Kindle edition is also full of typos and formatting errors - looks like it was OCR-ed without anyone bothering to proof read it!
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on 18 October 2008
Published originally in 1961, this is a book that is reminiscent of its time (there's a technological twist and a highbrow cast of potential villains). It has stood up well, though, and makes for a substantial and satisfying read (like many Japanese novels, if you took out the details of the meals eaten by the main character it would be 30 pages slimmer!). There are no great surprises and no heroics - just absorbingly dogged police work by an otherwise domesticated soul leading to a mildly moralised conclusion. A treat for Japanophiles.
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on 31 May 2013
Great piece of writing. For fans of either Japanese authors or detective novels, this is well worth a look. For fans (like me) of both, this is absolutely essential. Tightly written - there's barely a wasted word throughout - and well plotted, this is a simple, but thoroughly engaging mystery. I only wish there were some more translations in this series...
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on 6 May 2017
Having resided in Tokyo for several years, I found this book very entertaining as it portrayed very well the politeness in society, the amazing attention to detail and the predictability of human behaviour in Japan.
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on 4 March 2014
I really enjoyed the details of the investigation and the twists and turns in the hunt for the killer. I like the way the clues built up slowly after the discovery of the body and a seemingly perfect crime.
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on 2 May 2014
Really enjoy it. Not only it is a good criminal but it nicely shows custom and life in Japanese society
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on 8 January 2015
Enjoyed this and would recommend the author
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on 11 December 2017
One of best novels to read
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