cover image Honeymoon to Nowhere

Honeymoon to Nowhere

Akimitsu Takagi. Soho Crime, $12 (288pp) ISBN 978-1-56947-154-8

This early mystery (1965) by Takagi was originally published in this country in mass market by Playboy Press. Takagi's masterful psychological portraits here recall those of Patricia Highsmith or William Irish in their depiction of individuals enveloped by intrigue that threatens to destroy them. A young woman, Etsuko Ogata, is being pressured by her father to marry a rather pedestrian lawyer, Tetsuya Higuchi, whom she respects but does not love. Quietly, Etsuko rebels and begins to seek a relationship with Yoshihiro Tsukamoto, a lecturer in industrial management whom she meets by chance. Against the backdrop of a culture rapidly changing amidst recovery from the devastation of WWII, Etsuko avoids Higuchi and pursues Tsukamoto despite doubts about his family's past. Eventually she marries her beloved, but the wedding night has barely begun when Etsuko's new husband rushes off and is murdered. As the plot of this involving mystery progresses, State Prosecutor Saburo Kirishima (who also appears in The Informer, reviewed above) must use all his subtlety to untangle the strands of jealousy and greed that have made Etsuko a bride and a widow on the same night. (June)