Sleuth fiction with a twist—and not merely in the plot.

A year after Japan’s surrender, Tokyo is a defeated city stocked with stray dogs and humans, gang warlords, swaggering GIs, and addled cops. What happens next is dark and dizzying (involving a serial killer and a murder pinned on a Korean), but even the simple evocation of Tokyo’s sounds — the ton-ton-ton of its hammers, the za-za of its monsoons, the “Asobu?” (“Shall we play?”) of its child prostitutes — makes this difficult book worth the effort.

Tokyo Year Zero

David Peace