These four tales explore the satisfactions, frustrations, and base and noble emotions of those who devote their lives to a profession where saving face is a priority and ethical conundrums are a frequent challenge ... Mr. Yokoyama, a journalist-turned-author whose novel Six Four was published in America in 2017 to much acclaim, immerses us in an environment at once familiar and exotic; his stories’ mysteries are solved in a manner that surprises the mind and moves the heart.
Prefecture D is actually four novellas, each an intriguing story describing the complex relationships and bureaucratic tensions between individuals in the prefecture’s police force. This book is a perfect introduction to the political and social undercurrents that govern Japanese society. Like all good mysteries, each novella holds the reader in suspense until the surprising end ... Yokoyama’s storytelling is unusual, and his denouements contain twists. His psychological insights into his characters’ behavior – together with his succinct, descriptive prose – make for enjoyable reading ... Japanese can be a difficult language to translate and translators need to pay close attention to cultural nuances to ensure the correct context is represented. A shout-out needs to be given to the book’s translator, Jonathan Lloyd-Davies, born in Wales, who has done a yeoman’s job here ... Prefecture D may be missing the mayhem of the usual crime novel, but its page-turning narrative is not only captivating but also provides insight into Japanese society.
The author somehow manages to pack each approximately 80-page story with the same amount of intensity as his epic-scale fiction ... Relentless in their portrayal of karoshi at work, the stories can seem overwhelming, but they offer an intriguing look into Japanese police procedure and are certain to interest devoted readers of international crime fiction.