Newcomer by Keigo Higashino Newcomer by Keigo Higashino
Translator: Giles Murray
Narrator: P. J. Ochlan
Series: Kyoichiro Kaga Series #8
Published by Macmillan Audio on November 20, 2018
Source: Library
Genres: Mystery
Length: 9 hrs 38 mins
Format: Audiobook
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four-stars

Detective Kyoichiro Kaga of the Tokyo Police Department has just been transferred to a new precinct in the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo. Newly arrived, but with a great deal of experience, Kaga is promptly assigned to the team investigating the murder of a woman. But the more he investigates, the greater number of potential suspects emerges. It isn’t long before it seems nearly all the people living and working in the business district of Nihonbashi have a motive for murder. To prevent the murderer from eluding justice, Kaga must unravel all the secrets surrounding a complicated life. Buried somewhere in the woman’s past, in her family history, and the last few days of her life is the clue that will lead to the murderer.

I have been a fan of Higashino’s for years, but the order his books are translated into English seems rather haphazard. Thankfully the ones I’ve read have all been able to stand on their own, including Newcomer.

The newcomer is Detective Kaga, who has been newly transferred to the district. He is investigating the murder of a divorced woman who lived by herself, also a relative newcomer to the area. Kaga is like Sherlock Holmes in a way, picking up on the tiny, seemingly insignificant clues, but he’s friendly and nice and puts people at ease. And he doesn’t have a sidekick. He works with others in his department, but only when he needs to, he does his best work when he’s on his own.

This is a puzzle-type mystery. We have an odd assortment of clues and a large batch of potential suspects, but no good, solid possibility. The way the book is set up is a bit unusual. Each section features a specific business owner or workers in the area. Each has a connection with the murdered woman, and Kaga works his way through everyone’s story until he finally gets to the truth. Each piece is compelling in its own way, and the characters all discover a little something about themselves or others, that gives them a fresh perspective. It’s a traditional mystery, no violence, no gore, the kind of novel I prefer in all honesty.

This counts as 4 pts in the COYER Treasure Hunt  (a book with just half a face on the cover).

About Keigo Higashino

Born in Osaka, he started writing novels while still working as an engineer at Nippon Denso Co. (presently DENSO). He won the Edogawa Rampo Award, which is awarded annually to the unpublished finest mystery work, in 1985 for the novel Hōkago (After School) at age 27. Subsequently, he quit his job and started a career as a writer in Tokyo.

In 1999, he won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award for the novel Naoko, which was translated into English by Kerim Yasar and published by Vertical Inc. in 2004. In 2006, he won the 134th Naoki Prize for The Devotion of Suspect X (Yōgisha X no Kenshin). The novel also won the 6th Honkaku Mystery Award and was ranked as the number-one novel by Kono Mystery ga Sugoi! 2006 and 2006 Honkaku Mystery Best 10, annual mystery fiction guide books published in Japan.

The English translation of The Devotion of Suspect X was nominated for the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel and the 2012 Barry Award for Best First Novel.

He writes not only mystery novels but also essays and story books for children.

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6 Comments

  1. Mae Sander

    Thanks for the very interesting review — I didn’t know about this book, but I’ve read other books by HIgashino, and seen the film Devotion of Suspect X as well as read the book. I must add this to my list!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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