Quarantine. Italian style (Coronavirus)
Thriller set mainly in Tokyo
2nd October 2019
The Flower Arranger by J J Ellis, thriller set mainly in Tokyo.
Do you love all things Japanese? Love a good thriller? Then this is a novel for you.
Holly Blain is a rookie reporter, from England but who speaks wonderful Japanese and who is whiling away her days reporting on youth culture and entertainment at the Tōkei Shimbun. She However wants something more meaty and would love to work on reporting crime.
She is introduced to Inspector Tanaka who is very enmeshed in the rigours of his investigating department but the two of them are soon of sleuthing, and she is piecing together clues and seems almost one step ahead of him.
Not one but two European teenagers have gone missing. The latest is Marie-Louise Duran, whose father has just reported her disappearance. A few weeks ago a young woman from Sweden simply disappeared off the face of the earth. Gradually, as the two investigators piece together the clues a pattern emerges: ubiquitous at the potential crime scenes is a young Japanese man who is a double for Roy Orbison. They also quickly become aware that flowers are a regular theme, precisely laid out. The perpetrator is clearly adept at floral design, looking to fill the Ma – the negative space in his designs – with someone, a pale female, who will complement his talent and put the final touch to his creation.
The novel is set in the Spring, at the point when the Sakura – the cherry blossom – is coming to its peak. Traditionally the Japanese follow the burgeoning blossom as it unfolds daily across the country, today the best viewing might be Tokyo, tomorrow it will be somewhere else. The person, for whom the investigators are searching, has his own motivations and has carefully mapped out his targets….
The author clearly has spent some time in the country and takes the reader down alleyways and less salubrious establishments of Tokyo and then on to Kyoto, Himeji, where there is a beautiful white castle and Iriomote.
It is a well written novel that flows and is well-paced. I certainly enjoyed it.
Check out the author’s #TalkingLocationWith… post, where he shares his experience of visiting Iriomote.
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