A collection of tense thrilllers, each centered on a mystery and the unfortunate officer tasked with solving it, set in the world of Hideo Yokoyama's bestselling Six Four.
Four novellas: Each taking place in 1998.
SEASON OF SHADOWS
"The force could lose face . . . I want you to fix this." Personnel's Futawatari receives a horrifying memo forcing him to investigate the behavior of a legendary detective with unfinished business.
CRY OF THE EARTH
"It's too easy to kill a man with a rumor." Shinto of Internal Affairs receives an anonymous tip-off alleging a station chief is visiting the red-light district—a warning he soon learns is a red herring.
"It was supposed to be her special day." Section Chief Nanao, responsible for the force's forty-nine female officers, is alarmed to learn her star pupil has not reported for duty and is believed to be missing.
"We need to know what he's going to ask." On the eve of a routine debate, Political Liaison Tsuge learns a wronged politician is preparing his revenge. He must now quickly dig up dirt to silence him.
Prefecture D continues Hideo Yokoyama's exploration of the themes of obsession, saving face, office politics, and interdepartmental conflicts. Placing everyday characters between a rock and a hard place and then dialing up the pressure, he blends and balances the very Japanese with the very accessible, to spectacular effect.
The four novellas in Yokoyama's disappointing collection, set in 1998 in the same fictional universe as his kidnap thriller, Six Four, all focus on members of the Japanese police. In "Season of Shadows," the administrative branch of the Prefecture D police headquarters is in a tizzy after Michio Osakabe, a respected senior officer who once headed criminal investigations, announces that he's going back on his plans to resign; his change of heart now jeopardizes a chain of anticipated personnel moves. Shinji Futawatari, who works in administration, is tasked with finding out why. The logical answer fails to compel, and a reliance on coincidence vitiates the emotional impact. The three other entries include the search for a missing female officer and a desperate attempt to find out what "bombshell" a politician intends to make public. None of the characters are memorable, and the answers to the questions driving them are largely anticlimactic. Yokoyama won't win any new fans with this one.