cover image Death Within the Evil Eye

Death Within the Evil Eye

Masahiro Imamura, trans. from the Japanese by Ho-Ling Wong. Locked Room International, $19.99 trade paper (266p) ISBN 979-8-53631396-1

Imamura presents one of the cleverest riffs ever on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None in this sensational sequel to 2021’s Death Among the Undead. Following the previous book’s horrific events, Shinko University students Yuzuru Hamura and Hiruko Kenzaki, members of the university’s Mystery Society, resolve to probe the Madarame Organization, believed to have been responsible for a fatal bioterror attack. Hamura and Kenzaki follow clues to what may be a hidden Madarame research facility in the remote village of Magan (a name that can mean “evil eye” in Japanese). When a fire destroys the only bridge into Magan, the students become trapped with a small group, including Sakimi, a supposed prophet who has predicted that two men and two women will die soon, and high school student Marie Toiro, who somehow can do pencil sketches of events, such as the bridge burning, before they happen. As the group’s numbers shrink in line with Sakimi’s predictions, the Mystery Society members must use all their ingenuity to both survive and ascertain the logical truth. The novel’s apparently paranormal elements make several suspicious deaths seem particularly impossible. This is a tour de force. (Jan.)