A novel about one of history's great unsolved mysteries, by one of Britain's most original writers.
'Typically brilliant ... A murder mystery set in 1949 Japan during the US occupation it has all of Peace's usual flair for language and characterization.' ADRIAN MCKINTY, author of The Chain
Tokyo, July 1949, President Shimoyama, Head of the National Railways of Japan, goes missing just a day after serving notice of 30,000 job losses. In the midst of the US Occupation, against the backdrop of widespread social, political and economic reforms - as tensions and confusion reign - American Detective Harry Sweeney leads the missing person's investigation for General MacArthur's GHQ.
Fifteen years later and Tokyo is booming. As the city prepares for the 1964 Olympics and the global spotlight, Hideki Murota, a former policeman during the Occupation period, and now a private investigator, is given a case which forces him to go back to confront a time, a place and a crime he's been hiding from for the past fifteen years.
Over twenty years later, in the autumn and winter of 1988, as the Emperor Showa is dying, Donald Reichenbach, an aging American, eking out a living teaching and translating, sits drinking by the Shinobazu Pond in Ueno, knowing the final reckoning of the greatest mystery of the Showa Era is down to him.