cover image The Devil's Whisper

The Devil's Whisper

Miyuki Miyabe, , trans. from the Japanese by Deborah Stuhr Iwabuchi. . Kodansha, $24.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-4-7700-3053-5

Miyabe (All She Was Worth ), Japan's bestselling mystery author, should garner new fans in the U.S. with this eerie tale that recalls some classic Japanese horror films. Mamoru Kusaka, a sensitive and intelligent teen, is troubled by the loss of his parents. Twelve years after his father disappeared following a municipal financial scandal, his mother has died of a stroke. As Mamoru tries to start a new life with relatives in Tokyo, his uncle, taxi driver Taizo Asano, is arrested after running over a young woman. While working to exonerate Taizo, Mamoru stumbles upon evidence that the victim may have been fleeing the person responsible for two other recent strange deaths that were officially classed as suicides. Miyabe excels at creating a supernatural feeling in a prosaic urban setting, and Mamoru is an engaging and original amateur sleuth. Both horror fans and mystery fans will savor this spooky mystery and want to seek out Miyabe's other work. (Oct.)