A Death in Tokyo

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Kyoichiro Kaga, Bk. 3). Dec. 2022. 368p. tr. from Japanese by Giles Murray. ISBN 9781250767509. $27.99. M
Takeaki Aoyagi appears to be sleeping on the Nihonbashi Bridge, but when a police officer approaches, he sees a knife sticking out of his chest. As police search the neighborhood for witnesses, they came upon Fuyuki Yashima, who, when they attempt to question him, flees and gets hit by a truck. Yashima had Aoyagi’s wallet and briefcase, and it seems like an open-and-shut case. Detectives Kaga and Matsumiya are part of the investigating team. Ace detective Kaga is not convinced Yashima killed Aoyagi—the connection between the two men was thin. Yashima, a temporary worker, reported to Aoyagi at the metal plant where they worked. When Yashima was involved in a workplace accident, he was fired. Did he ask for his old job back, and Aoyagi refused? Yashima’s girlfriend said he would never hurt anyone, but perhaps something provoked him. There could also be another motive for murder that the detectives have missed as Kaga doggedly searches for the truth.
VERDICT This solid police procedural, the third in the Kaga series (after Newcomer), stands alone. Despite a less than compelling plot, fans of smart detectives with less observant, more laid-back sidekicks (à la Holmes and Watson) will enjoy this book through all its twists and turns.
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