cover image Informer-C


Akimitsu Takagi. Soho Press, $22 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-56947-155-5

There are many webs and one or more deadly spiders spinning them in this intricate tale of deceit and murder from the late Japanese master (1920-1995); the book is one of two by Takagi that Soho will publish in June (see review below). Shiego Segawa should have listened to the old adage, ""if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."" The young stock-market trader has been enjoying all the benefits of Japan's burgeoning postwar resurgence until he overreaches and is caught short when the market tumbles. Allowed to resign from his company, he starts his own, only to see it fail. Then he is offered a wonderful job opportunity: Mikio Sakai, the owner of a small new firm, Shinwa Trading Co., asks him to come on as salesman, for a high salary and higher prospects. But Sakai's real aim is industrial sabotage, and Shiego soon finds himself on a slippery slope where he must juggle women and ethics while betraying an old friend. When Shoichi Ogino, his putative target, discovers the betrayal and then is murdered, Shiego is the obvious suspect. But State Prosecutor Saburo Kirishima is never satisfied by the obvious, and his deft probing gradually strips away the cobwebs to reveal an elegant solution. (June)