Soho Press, July, 2001.
Trade paperback, 257 pages.
Originally published in 1965, The Informer provides another fascinating glimpse into post-World War II Japanese culture by Japan's premier mystery writer, Akimitsu Takagi. Translated into English by Sadako Mizuguchi, the book tells the story of a young stock broker named Shigeo Segawa. Shigeo, desperate because of being laid off after the large stock market crash in the 1960s, takes a job as an industrial spy. The new job requires Shigeo to betray his old friend by stealing his secrets and his wife's affections. When his friend ends up dead, Shigeo is the prime suspect. As the prosecutor Kirishima begins to delve doggedly into the case he finds that Shigeo may not be the only person with a motive for the killing.
The Informer is a part of Soho Press' plan to bring the works of the talented Akimitsu Takagi to the American mystery-loving public. Sadako Mizuguchi does an able job with the translation, which could not have been an easy task. Many of the customs of 1960s Japan would be incomprehensible to American readers in 2001, and Mizuguchi explains much without ever detracting from the narrative. The Tattoo Murder Case and Honeymoon to Nowhere are also excellent translations which should be added to any mystery buff's collection.
--Claire E. White
The Informer is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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