Blue Light Yokohama REVIEW COPY


Inspired by the still unsolved murder of a Japanese family in 2000, Blue Light Yokohama is 2017’s most original and gripping crime debut . . .

Setagaya ward, Tokyo

Inspector Kosuke Iwata, newly transferred to Tokyo’s homicide department, is assigned a new partner and a second-hand case.

Blunt, hard as nails and shunned by her colleagues, Assistant Inspector Noriko Sakai is a partner Iwata decides it would be unwise to cross.

A case that’s complicated – a family of four murdered in their own home by a killer who then ate ice cream, surfed the web and painted a hideous black sun on the bedroom ceiling before he left in broad daylight. A case that so haunted the original investigator that he threw himself off the city’s famous Rainbow Bridge.

Carrying his own secret torment, Iwata is no stranger to pain. He senses the trauma behind the killer’s brutal actions. Yet his progress is thwarted in the unlikeliest of places.

Fearing corruption among his fellow officers, tracking a killer he’s sure is only just beginning and trying to put his own shattered life back together, Iwata knows time is running out before he’s taken off the case or there are more killings . . .

(The cable car pulled away, carrying one last load of tourists up into the warm dusk)

(Penguin, 2 February 2017, review copy provided by NetGalley and vouluntarily reviewed)


Blue Light Yokohama is a great book. I loved every page. It’s one of the most original crime novels I’ve read in ages.

The first thing I loved is the setting. I rarely read books set in Japan so this was different than the books I usually read. The setting really comes to life and is vividly written. I really felt like I was there, watching the investigation.

The characters are really good as well. They are well rounded and come across as made of flesh and blood.

I love the events that take place in the book. As the investigation unfolds, it becomes clear just how seemingly unrelated events and are linked and just what forces are behind the murders. I loved the cult references. The novel is quite dark at times but the author makes it work. I found it quite compelling.

Iwata is the best character I’ve read in ages.

One of the things I enjoyed the most is that the novel is slow-burning; events unfold slowly, one drip at a timeCrime fiction tends to be very pace-faced, rattling through events until the bad guy is caught and justice is served. Obregón takes him time and I savoured every word.

Blue Light Yokohama is a must read if you’re tired of police procedurals being churned out that follow the same pattern.




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