1995, Japan struggles with a severe economic crisis. Fate brings a number of people together in Hiroshima in a confrontation with dramatic consequences. Xavier Douterloigne, the son of a Belgian diplomat, returns to the city, where he spent his youth, to come to terms with the death of his sister.
Inspector Takeda finds a deformed baby lying dead at the foot of the Peace Monument, a reminder of Hiroshima’s war history. A Yakuza-lord, rumored to be the incarnation of the Japanese demon Rokurobei, mercilessly defends his criminal empire against his daughter Mitsuko, whom he considers insane. And the punk author Reizo, obsessed by the ultra-nationalistic ideals of his literary idol Mishima, recoils at nothing to write the novel that will “overturn Japan’s foundations”….
Hiroshima’s indelible war-past simmers in the background of this ultra-noir novel. Clandestine experiments conducted by Japanese Secret Service Unit 731 during WWII become unveiled and leave a sinister stain on the reputation of the imperial family and the Japanese society as a whole.
Set in Japan, many years after the horrific bombing of Hiroshima. This is historical fiction with a difference.
There are several plot lines running together, which at first may seem a little disjointed, but it all comes together in this incredibly dark tale.
Not only does it tell of the life and culture of Japan, it tells of a darker side. The side effects of the bombing are described in gruesome detail. There’s also murder, mystery, brutality, rape, torture and a lot of violence but also about family and relationships.
It’s so hard to put this into any specific genre as it really has a bit of everything. Beautifully written and almost poetic at times but it’s dark, very dark too.
Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours for the opportunity to take part in this review tour, for the promotional material and a free ecopy of the book. This is my honest and unbiased review.
available on Amazon at a discounted price at the moment too