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Six Four

by Hideo Yokoyama

Imagine unpicking the most intricate of tapestries to get an idea of the absorbing, cautious nature of Six Four. This isn't an all-action crime thriller. Instead it delivers a highly detailed police procedural, an astute insight into Japanese etiquette and what feels like a treatise on the absurd bureaucracy of Japanese police politics. The crime element of the story is cleverly woven into this and does provide for an engrossing finale.

Extract

During a kidnapping, tradition dictated that press announcements were made by the director of Criminal Investigations or the chief of First Division. The chief of Second Division was both lower in rank and from an unrelated office: what were they hoping to achieve in standing him before the press? And Ochiai was a young bureaucrat, with no experience of active field duty. He wouldn't stand a chance fielding questions on a kidnapping.
Was that the plan? Were they going to usher him in with only a half-empty sheet of paper? The move was straight out of Akama's playbook. If you don't know anything, you can't say anything.
'It won't work.'
Translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies

Parallels

Where Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen
In The Woods by Tana French
 

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