cover image Newcomer


Keigo Higashino, trans. from the Japanese by Giles Murray. Minotaur, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-06786-9

In Higashino’s satisfying second novel featuring Kyoichiro Kaga to be published in English (after 2014’s Malice), the Columbo-like Tokyo police detective pursues loose ends in the case of the strangulation murder of Mineko Mitsui, a divorcee estranged from her only child, whose friends insisted that “she was the last person on earth to have enemies.” Kaga believes that his responsibilities as a homicide investigator extend to finding ways to comfort those traumatized by violent crime. He begins with a family that runs a store that sells rice crackers to ascertain whether an insurance salesman who claimed he was in Mineko’s apartment shortly before her death on business had an alibi. Other threads include the identity of the person who bought an assortment of pastries found at the scene of the crime, and why the dead woman purchased an expensive pair of kitchen scissors. Although the solution is less elaborate than those in the author’s Detective Galileo novels, the end result is a police procedural puzzle mystery that comes across as more realistic. (Nov.)