Hiroshima Boy

Prospect Park. Mar. 2018. 212p. ISBN 9781945551086. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781945551093. M
In 1994's Summer of the Big Bachi, Hirahara introduced an unusual amateur sleuth, an elderly Japanese American gardener and survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. Mas Arai's first case involved secrets connected to that terrible August day in 1945, and now in the seventh and final mystery (after Sayonara Slam), he must return to a city that still holds painful memories for him. The octogenarian had come home only once before—to find a bride 50 years ago—but now Mas is delivering the ashes of his best friend Haruo (and fellow survivor) to Haruo's sister, who lives in a nursing home on a small island near Hiroshima. On the ferry to the island Mas notices a teenage boy sitting alone; the next morning he discovers that boy's body floating near a jetty. Was his death an accidental drowning, suicide, or something else? As Mas is reluctantly pulled into the investigation, he must also deal with the theft of his friend's ashes. In the process, Mas revaluates his life and his family. "This trip to Hiroshima had changed the course of his life, or what was left of it."
VERDICT Hirahara completes her Edgar Award-winning series with a quiet and melancholy mystery that explores the tragic legacy of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Not surprisingly, she dedicates this novel to the hibakusha, the survivors.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing