A fiendish, classic locked room murder mystery, from one of Japan's greatest crime writers
Loosely inspired by Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, the brilliant Gokumon Island is perhaps the most highly regarded of all the great Seishi Yokomizo's classic Japanese mysteries.
Detective Kosuke Kindaichi arrives on the remote Gokumon Island bearing tragic news--the son of one of the island's most important families has died, on a troop transport ship bringing him back home after the Second World War. But Kindaichi has not come merely as a messenger--with his last words, the dying man warned that his three step-sisters' lives would now be in danger. The scruffy detective is determined to get to the bottom of this mysterious prophecy, and to protect the three women if he can.
As Kindaichi attempts to unravel the island's secrets, a series of gruesome murders begins. He investigates, but soon finds himself in mortal danger from both the unknown killer and the clannish locals, who resent this outsider meddling in their affairs.
In 1946, private detective Kosuke Kindaichi, the protagonist of this exceptional whodunit from Yokomizo (1902–1981), travels to the Japanese island of Gokumon, which has a reputation for insularity and whose inhabitants are all rumored to be crazy. Kosuke's on a mission for a deceased friend with whom he served in the army, Chimata Kito. Chimata beseeched the detective to go to Gokumon to prevent the murders of his three sisters, providing him with a letter of introduction to the island's three most prominent citizens—the mayor, the priest, and the doctor—but no information as to the basis for his fears. Despite that explanation for his presence, Kosuke is viewed with suspicion by all the islanders he encounters, which makes it more challenging when he's unable to prevent the killing of one of Chimata's siblings, whose strangled corpse is hung upside-down from a plum tree. More deaths follow as Kosuke, who himself is suspected of the killing, tries to identify the murderer. The brilliant and intricate plot will keep readers turning the pages. Golden age fans will hope for more translations of this gifted author.