Book Review Wednesday – Return to Hiroshima

The book-a-week challenge continues with  Return to Hiroshima, by Bob Van Laerhoven.

 

“Memory is a monstrous thing.”

 

HiroshimacoverIt is the memory of events real or imagined that accelerates Bob Van Laerhoven’s grisly Return to Hiroshima to the first rank of macabre noir. Return to Hiroshima could stand alone as a work of horror. Or post-apocalyptic dystopia. Hiroshima since August 6, 1945, certainly qualifies.

Van Laerhoven’s mastery of his subject and his flawless maneuvering through Japan’s unique past make one forget the depth of his narrative. There are many layers to Return to Hiroshima, and Van Laerhoven’s gift is crafting many intriguing subplots to create an energetic whole. But ‘layered’ is not quite right. Like an iceberg, a predictable part of Japan is visible for anyone to see. But beneath the surface lies mortal danger. And Van Laerhoven bravely plumbs those depths, for what’s underneath is a separate universe. What’s unsaid. What’s unaccounted for. Secrets no one admits to. Furious, revengeful rages hide beneath cool facades. Unspoken but understood conspiracies feed quests to right ultimate wrongs.

But whose catastrophe? Which people? Ultimately, Return to Hiroshima is a thriller, set in motion by a tormented woman determined to escape her past, explaining away her grotesqueness by being a daughter of hibakusha – survivors of the atom bombing. By a Belgian man who returns to Japan to come to grips with the death of his sister. By a Japanese son of privilege bent on sadistic pleasure. By a tortured half-Dutch, half-Japanese police inspector who cannot reconcile his past. By a criminal overlord determined to resurrect Japan’s past glories. And what propels Van Laerhoven’s narrative are the winds of Nationalism. Militarism. Nihilism. Anti-modernism. Mysticism. Myth.

“In the train to Hiroshima, I leaf through the old diaries I have taken with me from Hashima Island. On May 8th, 1988, I’d written: ‘Rokurobei hunts at night. Do not underestimate the demon’s power. When his victims hear his footsteps and see his long neck, it’s too late. He seduces if he can, kills if he must. Although his gentle nickname for me as a child was Aonyobo, a singing female spirit that haunts abandoned imperial palaces, it would be a mistake to overlook the Serpent Neck’s true nature, his capacity for violence.’”

There are times when myth and monsters are the only way to explain the inhumane in us all. And at the heart of Return to Hiroshima, longing turns violent, dreams morph into their own violent realities, and memories prove to be unworthy of trust. Yet the desire to return endures. To return. And return again. Memory is a monstrous thing, indeed.

Return to Hiroshima, by Bob Van Laerhoven, Crime Wave Press.

Five stars out of five.

Available at Amazon as ebook and paperback, at Barns & Noble as a paperback.

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Check in every week for Book Review Wednesday. I’m reading and reviewing a book a week throughout 2018. Join me. Authors, if you have a book you would like reviewed, send me an email at joe@josephmarkbrewer.com.

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Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Lieutenant Columbo and Kurt Wallander and you have an interesting character in Sato and a thrilling new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s SonThe Thief’s MistakeTraitors & Lies, or Cat’s Meow. And check out Shig’s Readers Club to get a free copy of Tokyo Summer, the exciting Shig Sato prequel that tells the story of the events that led up to The Gangster’s Son.

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Book Review Wednesday – The 9th Hour

The book-a-week challenge continues with The 9th Hour (A Detective Temeke Crime Series Book 1) by Claire Stibbe.

9thHourAlbuquerque cops have seen it all, but nothing like the serial killer aiming for teen girls. And the cops at the Northwest Area Command have seen nothing like Detective David Temeke. British, Ethiopian descent, Temeke immigrated to the U.S. to escape cold, wet England. Bald, muscular, handsome, skin darker than tar, Temeke is all business. Problems with colleagues at Homicide sent him to Northwest. Seven dead teen girls are part of the reason why.

So begins Claire Stibbe’s The 9th Hour. It is a police procedural par excellence, a serial killer tale quite gruesome in detail but thoroughly compelling. If it wasn’t so well written, so captivatingly smart and imaginative, it could have been a bloody mess. It’s not. Attention to detail is what makes a novelist a cut above, and Stibbe’s sentences have a life of their own. Details make or break a good crime story – it is the details, after all, that lead to the story’s conclusion, especially in a deadly cat-and-mouse, serial killer vs. police game. This has fine writing, intriguing characters, a clever criminal, and a detective who misses very little. It’s a winning combination.

Temeke is up to the challenge, and he is pleased with his new partner, Malin Santiago, is too. What Stibbe has created is genuine, believable crime-fighting partnership. Neither are perfect and in their imperfections comes the trust they need to work together to catch a demented killer.

And this is a serial killer worthy of the name. Stibbe’s unwinding of the man’s twisted reasons for killing adds layer upon layer of intrigue to what could have been a pedestrian crime book. Relentless pace, excellent plot twists, no wasted scenes, and two compelling characters in Temeke and Santiago. And Albuquerque as the novel’s setting is a character unto itself and adds a bit of luster. Buy this book. Read it. Then read it again. The second helping will taste better. And then you’ll want to read more Detective Temeke crime novels. Believe me.

The 9th Hour (A Detective Temeke Crime Series Book 1) by Claire Stibbe.

5 stars out of 5.

Available at Amazon as email and paperback, ebook at Kobo, paperback at Nook.

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Check in every week for Book Review Wednesday. I’m reading and reviewing a book a week throughout 2018. Join me. Authors, if you have a book you would like reviewed, send me an email at joe@josephmarkbrewer.com.

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Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Lieutenant Columbo and Kurt Wallander and you have an interesting character in Sato and a thrilling new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s SonThe Thief’s MistakeTraitors & Lies, or Cat’s Meow. And check out Shig’s Readers Club to get a free copy of Tokyo Summer, the exciting Shig Sato prequel that tells the story of the events that led up to The Gangster’s Son.

Book Review Wednesday – Stolen Gypsy

The book-a-week challenge continues with  Stolen Gypsy by Elizabeth Horton-Newton.

stolengypsyTerza Blackstone never lived in on place long enough to make friends. Her parents never gave a second thought to uprooting her whenever they felt the need. Alone and friendless is never good, especially when being called to the principal’s office to be told your parents died in a crash while eluding police.

The authorities have lots of questions for 17-year-old Terza, but she has more. So it begins in Stolen Gypsy by Elizabeth Horton-Newton. The cops want to know if Terza knows anything about her parents’ activities. She wants to know just who were these people who raised her and why were they running from the law. When the feds step in to try to take charge of what seems to be a local crime, Terza becomes even more suspicious of what is happening, and although she escapes their grasp, she is forced to rely on strangers to help her find her answers.

Horton-Newton weaves a compelling thriller: Terza’s strength is her determination to get answers about her past, to find out who she is, and to make sense of the traumatic events that litter her young life. Equally determined are the two men who risk everything to keep her from harm, a county sheriff’s detective and charming Irishman with a penchant for saving girls in trouble. Terza discovers their help just might be what she needs to get her answers and her revenge. Terza’s parents were involved with serious, dangerous men. High stakes action, life-and-death consequences — this book has it all.

I have read Horton-Newton’s short fiction in Twisted Tales and Crooked Tales, anthologies published by Readers Circle of Avenue Park, and I am a fan. She has the gift of telling a good story, compelling a reader to keep turning the page, and just when you think you have it figured out — well, you don’t.  So you keep turning the page.

What more can a reader ask?

Stolen Gypsy, by Elizabeth Horton-Newton.

4.5 stars out of 5.

Available at Amazon.

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Check in every week for Book Review Wednesday. I’m reading and reviewing a book a week throughout 2018. Join me. Authors, if you have a book you would like reviewed, send me an email at joe@josephmarkbrewer.com.

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Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Lieutenant Columbo and Kurt Wallander and you have an interesting character in Sato and a thrilling new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s SonThe Thief’s MistakeTraitors & Lies, or Cat’s Meow. And check out Shig’s Readers Club to get a free copy of Tokyo Summer, the exciting Shig Sato prequel that tells the story of the events that led up to The Gangster’s Son.

Bluebonnets and Book Deals!

I wanted to check in with you to let you know what’s been happening. In a word: Lots! A lot of writing and planning the rest of the Shig Sato series. In a few weeks, I’ll have some chapters for you to peruse – and I love feedback! So don’t be shy about telling me what you think.

I’ve lived in Austin, Texas, for a little more than two years now and it’s been great. Right now is Texas Bluebonnet time. The wildflowers here are amazing, and one thing many people do is take their picture with bluebonnets.

Since I am definitely camera-averse, I’ll skip that part, but here’s a little something of what I mean. (photo courtesy Dallas Morning News)

bluebonnetDMN

Another thing that came up recently is the U.S. News & World Report Top Cities. Austin is No. 1 for the second year in a row. Here’s the link. I’ve lived in many cities thanks to my journalism career, including New York, Chicago, and Tokyo, and I can tell you Austin has it all on a scale that makes everything accessible and affordable. There’s a vibrant dining scene here, and the music is second to none. Come for a visit when you can!

Along with ‘mapping out’ the remaining Shig Sato mysteries, I have been posting book reviews on my blog. One review was for the Alex Vane media thriller The Anonymous Source by my friend A.C. Fuller. It’s a read I’d highly recommend. In fact, this Sunday, April 15, he’s having a sale on two of Alex Vane media thrillers – US and UK only. The Anonymous Source finds Alex in a media conspiracy that goes back to 9/11, and in The Inverted Pyramid, he attempts to untangle a web surrounding a dead hacker and an attempt to rig the 2004 election.

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Remember: Today! Sunday, April 15, one day only – each book will be 99 cents – just click!

In the meantime, be well and good reading.

All the best from me and Shig,

Joe

 

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Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Lieutenant Columbo and Kurt Wallander and you have an interesting character in Sato and a thrilling new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s SonThe Thief’s MistakeTraitors & Lies, or Cat’s Meow. And check out Shig’s Readers Club to get a free copy of Tokyo Summer, the exciting Shig Sato prequel that tells the story of the events that led up to The Gangster’s Son.

Book Review Wednesday – The Girlfriend Experience

The book-a-week challenge continues with  The Girlfriend Experience (Matt Bugatti Book 1) by Charles O’Donnell.

ODonnel1Inside the mind of Dr. Matteo Bugatti lives the single-minded desire to break the internet’s most secure code. Which is fine for the naive computer wizard, until the NSA and the Chinese take an interest in his doings. The closer he gets to solving the riddle, the higher the stakes become. Not that he is aware of what’s going on around him until it’s too late, and breaking the code becomes a matter of life and death. For the genius Matt Bugatti, what he doesn’t know can kill him.

Charles O’Donnell has crafted a techno-thriller with enough elements to satisfy the demands of any fan of the genre: nefarious personalities, spy vs. spy, double dealings, temptation, betrayal, trust, and a plot that moves along at a pretty good clip despite a heavy load of deep computer technology that O’Donnell handles masterfully.

The last time I read what’s now called a techno-thriller was The Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy’s debut novel. I liked it because I was in the navy and I’m fascinated by surface warfare and submarine technology. Fast-forward 30 years to The Girlfriend Experience. I have no love nor interest for code, software, hardware, or computer science in general, and I have to admit the details O’Donnell includes falls into the ‘skip over’ category of my reading, but that’s just me.

O’Donnell did not sacrifice technology for story, and for that I’m thankful. I am interested in what’s next for Matt Bugatti in Book 2, Moment of Conception. I’m looking forward to finding out.

The Girlfriend Experience, by Charles O’Donnell.

4 stars out of 5.

Available as ebook and paperback.

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Check in every week for Book Review Wednesday. I’m reading and reviewing a book a week throughout 2018. Join me. Authors, if you have a book you would like reviewed, send me an email at joe@josephmarkbrewer.com.

NewAllBooks20184FB

Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Lieutenant Columbo and Kurt Wallander and you have an interesting character in Sato and a thrilling new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s SonThe Thief’s MistakeTraitors & Lies, or Cat’s Meow. And check out Shig’s Readers Club to get a free copy of Tokyo Summer, the exciting Shig Sato prequel that tells the story of the events that led up to The Gangster’s Son.

Book Review Wednesday – Out

The book-a-week challenge continues with Out, by Natsuo Kirino.

OUTbookcoverforreviewA wife and mother who works the overnight shift making box lunches finally had enough of a husband who strays, gambles, loses their savings, humiliates her, and displays all the indifference of a stranger. She strangles him, then convinces her co-worker friends to help her dispose of the body and cover up her crimes.

This is the heart of the mystery novel Out, by Natsuo Kirino, but to say that’s what the story is about is wrong. Out is a glimpse into the underbelly of a microcosm of darkest modern Japan. It’s notable for what is absent. Its characters are dark, intense, mystifying, mortifying, desperate, caught in the gears of the terrible machine of survival, day to day, night to night, paycheck to paycheck. Indifferent husbands, recalcitrant children, indifferent bosses, creepy co-workers, and sinister criminals populate the pages. Kirino’s style is direct and unceasing. Just as the reader grasps the implication of one action, another comes, then another, then another.

What’s not to like?

I discovered this morbid gem of a thriller several years ago and finished reading it for a second time the past weekend. Kirino, who came to writing in her 30s and published in her 40s to wide acclaim, wastes no time in describing the miserable existence of a team of food factory workers mindful of quotas and the best position on the assembly line to endure a long, tiring shift. Their day continues upon their return to their homes in the morning to face the demands, slights, and misery of their lives. The incessant need for money is one of the book’s central themes. Bone weariness another. Unwanted attention by a strange man and the humiliation of not being young and pretty are others. Most know how it is to be treated as automatons, cash dispensers, or objects of scorn.

All of this, described in exquisite detail, drives the central theme of the story: one woman had enough. It’s a fatal decision, and her coworkers, the only people she could remotely call her friends, step up, albeit timidly or reservedly. That she convinced her friends to help her, using comradery and bribery, is only the setup to the crime’s gruesome aftermath. The tension quickens as reality sets in. What ensues is dark and occasionally funny, but is also an examination not only of an individual, but a group, and a national, consciousness.

A novelist and a short-story writer, Kirino has won many awards. Out is the winner of the Mystery Writers of Japan Award, Best Japanese Crime Fiction of the Year, nominated for an Edgar award by the Mystery Writers of America. Some of her other works have won the prestigious Tanizaki Prize and the Yomiuri Prize.

But for me as a reader, the one prize that matters above all others, is believing a book is worth reading twice, three times, four times. Few have reached that apex. Out surely has.

Out, by Natsuo Kirino, translated by Stephen Snyder.

5 stars out of 5.

Available in all formats everywhere.

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Check in every week for Book Review Wednesday. I’m reading and reviewing a book a week throughout 2018. Join me. Authors, if you have a book you would like reviewed, send me an email at joe@josephmarkbrewer.com.

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Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Lieutenant Columbo and Kurt Wallander and you have an interesting character in Sato and a thrilling new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s SonThe Thief’s MistakeTraitors & Lies, or Cat’s Meow. And check out Shig’s Readers Club to get a free copy of Tokyo Summer, the exciting Shig Sato prequel that tells the story of the events that led up to The Gangster’s Son.

Book Review Wednesday – The Anonymous Source

The read-a-book-a-week challenge continues with A.C. Fuller’s The Anonymous Source, An Alex Vane Media Thriller.

AnonymousSourceA wealthy financier’s death is linked to tragedy surrounding Sept 11, 2001. An unimpressive, nondescript student is charged with the murder of an NYU professor, at one time a student of the financier. A mega-merger threatens to alter the media landscape, a merger fought tooth and nail by an anti-corporate activist with the vision to know that consolidating news organizations is bad for consumers, and losing net neutrality will doom free speech. That she manages to convince the financier to donate an improbably large donation to her watchdog group just weeks before his death seems improbable but this improbable decision is the hinge upon which the story swings to and fro.

A.C. Fuller’s The Anonymous Sources is a thriller that delivers: suspense, excitement, surprise, and an ongoing guessing-game of who is this Anonymous Source pivotal to the story. Alex Vane, the reporter with a nose for news and enough sense to challenge his editors when his editors stonewall, makes friends with Camila Gary, the ex-girlfriend of the murdered professor. The differences in their personalities and outlook, and the demons that fester within them make them an odd pair, but they work well together.

Fuller lays out clues like Hanzel and Gretel’s pebbles and breadcrumbs. Beneath the descriptive passages concerning newsgathering, source verification, the court system, traveling and dining in New York, an international assassin, travel to Hawaii, corrupt cops, New York sports, the tension and ambiguity between Alex and Camila, and the often tedious work of sorting facts and writing news, Fuller manages to keep his whodunit on track. His story moves back and forth in time, revealing small events that add to the greater whole, and the reader can follow the path to where the clues lead. There are just enough surprises to make the book interesting, and the characters relatable enough that I want to read more Alex Vane thrillers.

A.C. Fuller was a journalist and journalism professor before turning to writing thrillers full time. He knows his material. A wire service motto of long ago was ‘get it first, but get it right.’ As someone who still works in the newspaper business, I appreciate that he gets it right.

4 stars out of 5.

Available in all formats everywhere.

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Check in every week for Book Review Wednesday. I’m reading and reviewing a book a week throughout 2018. Join me. Authors, if you have a book you would like reviewed, send me an email at joe@josephmarkbrewer.com.

NewAllBooks20184FB

Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Lieutenant Columbo and Kurt Wallander and you have an interesting character in Sato and a thrilling new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s SonThe Thief’s MistakeTraitors & Lies, or Cat’s Meow. And check out Shig’s Readers Club to get a free copy of Tokyo Summer, the exciting Shig Sato prequel that tells the story of the events that led up to The Gangster’s Son.

Book Review Wednesday – Faceless Killers – A Mystery (Kurt Wallander Mystery Book 1)

The read-a-book-a-week challenge continues with Faceless Killers.

FacelessKillersCoverHenning Mankell’s Faceless Killers brings to life Kurt Wallander, a detective in a small town in the south of Sweden who, on a frozen January morning, comes face to face with the grisly murder of an elderly farm couple.

Beset with his own life in near-shambles, Wallander begins the painstaking process of finding the killers with little more to go on than coincidence and one word, “foreign.”
Mankell weaves a tale filled with examining Sweden’s immigration crisis, elder care, opera, failed marriages, father-daughter estrangements, media antics, all weaved into a tightly written page-turner of a police procedural.

Mankell’s style is simple and head-on. It’s no wonder his Wallander books enjoy such acclaim. Television viewers may recall the PBS Mysteries series picking up the BBC production of the Wallander mysteries, starring Kenneth Branagh. The Swedish production of the series (which I prefer) is available on Netflix.

I told a friend once I had read the books – I lied. I had watched the programs and had every intention of eventually reading the books. Now I have read Book 1. I’m glad I did. I’m hooked. Can’t wait to get started on the next one.

Faceless Killers – A Mystery (Kurt Wallander Mystery Book 1) –  by Henning Mankell

5 stars out of 5.

Available in all formats everywhere.

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Check in every week for Book Review Wednesday. I’m reading and reviewing a book a week throughout 2018. Join me. Authors, if you have a book you would like reviewed, send me an email at joe@josephmarkbrewer.com.

NewAllBooks20184FB

Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Lieutenant Columbo and Kurt Wallander and you have an interesting new character in Shig Sato and a thrilling new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s SonThe Thief’s MistakeTraitors & Lies, or Cat’s Meow. And check out Shig’s Readers Club to get a free copy of Tokyo Summer, the exciting Shig Sato prequel that tells the story of the events that led up to The Gangster’s Son.

Book Review Wednesday – The Assassin Who Couldn’t Dance

The read-a-book-a-week challenge continues with Glen Barrera’s Assassin Who Couldn’t Dance.

assassincoverThere are some books that are nightstand dust collectors. Some are the type where you read a few pages at a time before going to bed. Or maybe a chapter, a book read on and off over the course of a few months, or a year, or longer.

The Assassin Who Couldn’t Dance is not one of those books. So don’t even try. Be prepared to go all in, stay up all night, keep reading ’til you can’t, then stay up another hour. It’s that good.

Barrera weaves a tale that had many characters, many story lines, lots of locales, people, and most of all, motives. Why? Hidden treasure. Ill-gotten gains. Safe deposit boxes and secret codes. In Arabic. Shady dealings in the 1991 Gulf War result in some bad guys not being able to get their hand on a lot of loot. The good guys are a team of ex-Recon who, one by one, are visited by the bad guys’ goon squad, to get the loot back. But no one knows there’s an Assassin Who Coudn’t Dance out for his own measure of revenge.

Good guy? Bad guy? It’s really that simple, and really that captivating. It is a face-paced yarn that’s definitely a satisfying page-tuner. It has it all: mystery, suspense, intrigue, and a satisfying ending.

Don’t miss out on this fun read.

 

The Assassin Who Couldn’t Dance, by Glen Barrera

4 stars out of 5.

Available in ebook and paperback — just click.

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Check in every week for Book Review Wednesday. I’m reading and reviewing a book a week throughout 2018. Join me. Authors, if you have a book you would like reviewed, send me an email at joe@josephmarkbrewer.com.

NewAllBooks20184FB

Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Lieutenant Columbo and Kurt Wallander and you have is an interesting new character in Shig Sato and a thrilling new series set in the heart of Tokyo. Click for your copy of The Gangster’s SonThe Thief’s MistakeTraitors & Lies, or Cat’s Meow. And check out Shig’s Readers Club to get a free copy of Tokyo Summer, the exciting Shig Sato prequel that tells the story of the events that led up to The Gangster’s Son.

Get to know Shig Sato – Where Shig Lives

Shig lives in Hyakunincho, Shinjuku, a Tokyo neighborhood very much a part of its urban landscape. Central Tokyo is considered to be inside the Yamanote Commuter Line ‘circle.’ Hyakunincho is one of the many Yamanote neighborhoods that encircle the city.  A ride on the Yamanote line can take you to Tokyo’s festive Ueno Park for cherry-blossom viewing, the newest electronics at Akihabara, the historic Tokyo Station, and the much-photographed Shibuya crossing.  (The train route below with the black and white squares is the Yamanote Line. As you can see, it is a must-ride for any visitor.)SaveThisMap

Why did I place Shig in this neighborhood. It’s where I lived for a time when I was in Tokyo in the late 1980s, in a foreign house not unlike the Yamanote Villa.

First of all: Tokyo is not a city, according to its government system. It is a prefecture all its own, made up of 23 wards, one of which is Shinjuku. Inside Shinjuku is are the districts of Shinjuku, Takadanobaba, Kagurazka, Ichigawa, Yotsuya, and Okubo. Often, train stations take the name of their district. There is an Okubo station, part of the JR East (Japan Railway) line. That station and its predecessors date back to the 1890s. Shin-Okubo (‘New’-Okubo) is a stop on the Yamanote line. It is a station unto itself — it is one of two on the Yamanote line that has no direct service to any other train line.

What follows is a series of screen shots from Google Maps that show some areas of Hyakunincho. It’s Shig’s neighborhood. Its streets are his streets.

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 2.45.25 AM
The building with the blue roof is Shin-Okubo Station on Okubo-dori (Okubo Street). The train tracks to its immediate right is the Yamanote commuter line. The street that leads to Shig’s home is across Okubo-dori, next to the building with the green roof.

 

A view of Shin-Okubo Station
A view of Shin-Okubo Station.
A view of the Yamanote trains and the underpass
A view facing east: Okubo-dori, the Yamanote commuters trains, and the underpass.
The lane that leads to Shig's home
The lane that leads to Shig’s house. Kei’s yakitori-ya would be at the end of the first block on the left.
View walking north, Globe Theatre on right
A view of the lane as it continues north. The Globe Theater is hidden behind the trees on the right.
Closup of Shig's neighborhood
A close-up of Shig’s neighborhood. His house would be situated at the very bottom left, the grey roof across from the red roof. At top right is a neighbor recreational baseball diamond, which was there when I lived in Hyakunincho.

One of my aims in writing the Shig series is to provide directions as accurately as possible. My hope is a person in Tokyo could find ‘Shig’s House’ by the descriptions in my novels. If not, the blame is entirely mine. Have any questions about Tokyo and it’s many wards? Leave a question in the comments and I’ll answer them.

41BihmTO1ILCat’s Meow is Book 4 in the Shig Sato Mystery Series. In a race against time to find a killer before a strikes again, a case from Shig’s past propels him to get to the bottom of the crime spree. Don miss it! Just click. And don’t forget: if you’re reading this on your cell phone or tablet, keep scrolling down. You’ll find all of the Shig Sato Mysteries down there. If you’re reading this on your home computer, you’ll find them on the right. And if you haven’t signed up for the Shig Sato newsletter, you can do that here. Once in a while I share what’s happening with Shig, offer great deals in mysteries and thrillers from my author friends, and announce when the next special will come along. Don’t miss out. Just click here to enter the World of Shig Sato.