cover image Hiroshima Boy

Hiroshima Boy

Naomi Hirahara. Prospect Park, $16 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-945551-08-6

In Edgar-winner Hirahara’s moving seventh and final Mas Arai mystery (after 2016’s Sayonara Slam), the 85-year-old retired L.A. gardener reluctantly returns to Japan, his birthplace, for the first time in almost 50 years, to carry the ashes of his friend Haruo Mukai to Haruo’s older sister on the island of Ino off Hiroshima. A survivor of the atomic bomb that destroyed the city in 1945, Mas wants only to deliver the ashes and leave. On the ferry to Ino, he observes a group of boys, one of whom, Sora, he finds drowned on the beach the next day. After Mas meets Sora’s grief-stricken mother, he decides to stay to help her determine what led to her son’s death. Then Haruo’s ashes are stolen from his hotel room. Mas’s memories of the bombing, plus a memorial ceremony and other present-day reminders of that shattering event, overshadow the detective work. Hirahara has crafted a fitting ending to Mas’s journey from stricken Hiroshima to what he considers his real home in Altadena, Calif. [em]Agent: Allison Cohen, Gersh Agency. (Mar.) [/em]