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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Hunter

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The Hunter - Buy this book from Amazon

The Hunter


by Asa Nonami
Kodansha International
ISBN: 4-7700-3025-8
272 pp

A great work of crime fiction featuring a female detective who works the Tokyo beat. Takako Otomichi's family is not thrilled with her career choice; her colleagues are openly scornful, particularly venomous is the old veteran Tamotsu Takizawa.

However, these pair of cops have to work together in search of a killer who is stalking the streets of Tokyo. They delve into the underbelly of the city: its nightclubs, brothels, and neighborhoods.

What they soon realize is more terrifying than anything they have ever experienced: the killer is some sort of wild animal on the loose in megacity.

The climax has Otomichi face to face with the killer, which of course means she must ultimately confront herself as well.

Writer Asa Nonami is still in her 40s but has already been awarded the First Japanese Mystery and Suspense Award, in 1988 for her debut work: A Happy Breakfast. The original Japanese version of The Hunter won the Naoki Prize in 1996.

Like Natsuo Kirino, who is perhaps the best known writer--male or female--of crime fiction working in Japan today, Nonami's non-crime related writing is as good, if not better, than the crime plot itself. Excellent commentary on contemporary Japan.

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