cover image Last Winter, We Parted

Last Winter, We Parted

Fuminori Nakamura, trans. from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell. Soho (Norton, dist.), $25 (224p) ISBN 978-1-61695-455-0

In this creepy if elegantly crafted standalone from Nakamura (Evil and the Mask), the narrator, a nameless young writer, gets assigned to pen an In Cold Blood–style exploration of Yudai Kiharazaka, a 35-year-old Tokyo art photographer awaiting execution for burning two models to death. With his curiously reticent subject demanding reciprocal personal confidences before he will share his secrets, the narrator starts approaching other sources, including Kiharazaka’s provocative older sister, Akari, who just might have blood on her own hands, as well as a mysterious doll maker who creates disturbing silicone replicas of clients’ dead loved ones. The more he learns, the greater his doubts about the case—and himself. As the shadow of a second writer begins to cloud the picture, and the story accelerates down the slippery slope separating love and obsession, the twisty—and twisted—turns it takes ambush narrator and reader alike. (Oct.)