cover image Tokyo Time

Tokyo Time

Dawn Farnham. Brash, $18.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-954841-61-1

This superb series debut from Farnham (Finding Maria) centers on Martin Bach, a Eurasian police officer in Japanese-occupied 1942 Singapore who’s been promoted from sergeant to inspector by DCI Kano Hayashi. The colleagues face their first major challenge when an affluent white woman’s corpse is found in a condemned building with her face in an incense burner. The inquiry into who suffocated her and why ramps up quickly when she’s identified as Eva Abraham, the widow of Sir Solomon Abraham, who was one of the richest men in Asia before he recently died of natural causes. The pressure Bach and Hayashi feel to solve Eva’s murder without implicating a Japanese killer increases when the Marquis Fujimoto, a newly appointed civil governor and Emperor Hirohito’s brother-in-law, expresses interest in a quick resolution—or else. Farnham excels at recreating the tensions of life under occupation, where the slightest affront to Japanese troops could result in swift execution, and smartly integrates that texture into a stirring mystery. Fans of Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther series will be eager for the sequel. (July)