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When a man is found battered to death under a train in Tokyo, the only clue is a name heard spoken in an unusual accent in a cafe shortly beforehand. After months with no leads the investigation is going nowhere, but the determined and conscientious Imanishi never gives up, even using his own time to investigate. Eventually this leads him to a group of high-profile avant-garde artists, writers and critics, one of whom is hiding a secret.
Inspector Imanishi Investigates is well-paced, but its plot is fairly linear, tracking Imanishi as he follows up one clue after another — some of them a little too neatly dropped in his lap, through coincidences involving his wife and sister and their connections. He is a likeable character, with a happy domestic life and a hobby growing bonsai, but is most notable for his persistence.
And his off-sider Yoshimura is really just a foil, with a very minor role. Some chapters describe events outside Imanishi's knowledge, which means the reader always has more information than the detective, but there are still some surprises.
The main interest, however, is not in those but in the unfolding of the investigation. And Japan in provides a striking setting: the railways, rural poverty, Japanese dialects, the damage from bombing in the war, social status and prejudice, and more all feature.
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Books of The Times; Tea Ceremonies, Haiku And, of Course, a Body
Months pass in fruitless questioning, in following up leads, until the case is closed, unsolved. But Imanishi is dissatisfied, and a series of coincidences lead him back to the case. Why did a young woman scatter pieces of white paper out of the window of a train? Why did a bar girl leave for home right after Imanishi spoke to her? Why did an actor, on the verge of telling Imanishi something important, drop dead of a heart attack?
Inspector Imanishi Investigates
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? In the wee hours of a s Tokyo morning, a dead body is found under the rails of a train, and the victim's face is so badly damaged that police have a hard time figuring out the victim's identity. Only two clues surface: an old man, overheard talking in a distinctive accent to a young man, and the word "kameda. Months pass in fruitless questioning, in following up leads, until the case is closed, unsolved.
The conversations between individuals are always impeccably courteous, measured and polite — even between the police and the criminals they are arresting. Summary: Inspector Imanishi Investigates is an enjoyable, well-written crime novel that provides a fascinating insight into Japanese policing, and still has plenty to offer its readers fifty years after publication. Peabody Investigates. Pingback: Double celebration…and wishing you a Happy ! Wordopolis Reads. The book refers to at least one earlier case. You are commenting using your WordPress.