A Japanese Noir Murder Mystery
Parrish Lantern and Bellazza have recently done excellent comprehensive posts on Villain by Shuichi Yoshida (1968-Japan-multi-award winning writer) It is the author's first work to be translated into English. Recently I wrote that if there is a general theme to the post WWII Japanese novel (one of the cultural glories of the 20th century and beyond) it is the struggle to find a way to live in a world in which all fixed values have been destroyed. The cultural effects of the defeat of the Japanese in WWII have lingered on long after the economic consequences have been overcome many times over.
Villain is about the efforts of the police to find who murdered a young woman found on a lonely road in a bad part of town. It is a work of gritty realism with a good bit of sexual content including a visit to a massage parlor. The women in the novel are all pretty young and work as clerks. No one here is a highly paid professional. It was fun to see how they regarded and made use of online dating services. It was a little shocking to see how the women sort of blurred the line between dating and prostitution. In one seen I was really surprised when one of the women charged her date to take a picture of her.
Parrish Lantern and Bellazza have explained enough of the themes of the book for those interested.
This book is for sure worth reading for those into gritty crime novels.