The Hunter

( 2 )


In The Hunter, the first English translation of the atmospheric, gritty and character-driven work of prize-winning, bestselling Japanese writer Asa Nonami, American readers are introduced to Takako Otomichi, a strong, complex female detective reminiscent of Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski and Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone.
Takako is a former motorbike patrolwoman-turned-detective who is partnered with an older, seasoned, misogynist detective in a murder investigation. Their ...

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In The Hunter, the first English translation of the atmospheric, gritty and character-driven work of prize-winning, bestselling Japanese writer Asa Nonami, American readers are introduced to Takako Otomichi, a strong, complex female detective reminiscent of Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski and Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone.
Takako is a former motorbike patrolwoman-turned-detective who is partnered with an older, seasoned, misogynist detective in a murder investigation. Their search reveals that the victim ran a dating club for men to meet high-school girls, and had previously been involved in the nightclub underworld of Roppongi. Before long, the case is linked to another death, this time apparently the result of an attack by a large dog. As Takako and Takizawa question experts in kennel clubs and police dog training centers, the dog strikes again. They soon realize that the animal responsible is actually half-dog, half-wolf. The trail leads to Kasahara, a former police dog handler; his deeply troubled daughter; and the shocking revelation that Kasahara had owned and trained a wolf-dog called Hayate to kill on command. But Hayate has escaped and is killing on his own. As Takako becomes increasingly fascinated with this highly intelligent, dangerous creature, she must use all her wits and insight to track down and stop Hayate before he strikes again.
The Hunter is sophisticated, challenging and evocative noir mystery fiction and is sure to have readers clamoring for more books in the Takako Otomichi series.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

... a tough, original, exciting and moving story with a fascinating female police officer at its center.Chicago Tribune

Dennis Drabelle
For all its jolt quotient, The Hunter may be most appealing when it simply introduces us to Japanese mores. We learn, for example, that a crucial aspect of a high-profile criminal case is naming it. "This name, a virtual signboard and doorplate for the investigation headquarters," Nonami writes, "would be released to all [police] stations and the media, and would be retained for posterity in police files, so it needed to have a certain cachet." Fortunately, new information emerges early enough to earn this case a lulu: "The Tachikawa Timed Combustion Belt Homicide Case."
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

The 1996 winner of Japan's Naoki Prize, Nonami's engaging, complex police procedural, her first English-language publication, introduces Tokyo detective Takako Otomichi, who, having weathered a difficult divorce, must contend with her culture's disapproval of female police officers. Otomichi faces her greatest professional challenge when she teams with veteran Sgt. Tamotsu Takizawa to solve the murder of Takuma Sugawara, a businessman who bursts into flames at a popular family restaurant. Forensics soon demystify the sudden conflagration when traces of a chemical detonator are found in the victim's belt, but the inquiry takes a whole new tack when bite marks on Sugawara are linked to a series of fatal attacks by a wolflike predator. While some readers may find the whodunit aspect a bit routine, all will hope to see more of the prolific Nonami's work made available in the U.S. (Feb.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Nonami, who has written more than 40 books in different genres and won Japan's coveted Naoki Prize for this title, introduces her thrilling mystery style to American mystery readers with Takako Otomichi, a new detective pulled from the ranks of the motorcycle patrol group. Takako is paired with Takizawa, a hardened old-time detective who has seen it all. The unlikely pair is assigned to a strange and brutal murder. Searching out leads takes them from the seedy underworld of Tokyo's Roppongi district to police-dog training grounds. As they track the killer, they realize that they aren't looking for a suspect but a half-dog, half-wolf beast trained to kill. This dark animal is loose on the streets, and it's just a matter of time before it strikes again. Nonami is a creative and visionary writer in the company of Miyuki Miyabe (Crossfire) and Natsuo Kirino (Out). A strong title for public library mystery collections, especially where foreign mysteries are popular.
—Ron Samul
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9784770030252
  • Publisher: Kodansha International
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

ASA NONAMI was born in Tokyo in 1960, and won the first Japanese Mystery and Suspense Award with her debut novel A Happy Breakfast in 1988. The Hunter was awarded the prestigious Naoki prize in 1996, and has been translated into Chinese and Korean. She is best known for mystery and suspense, although she writes in various genres and now has around fifty works published.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2007

    Much more than a cop story

    The uneasy relationship between the female and male partners that are forced to work together to solve the crime are the BEST part of this book, but the story itself is riviting.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    An exciting Japanese police procedural

    In a restaurant in Tokyo, a man who is seated alone suddenly becomes engulfed in fire. When police search the wrecked facility they find a part of his belt coated with a tarry, sticky substance and his belt buckle that contained a timed incendiary device. He was murdered and an examination of his body show large dog bites on his body. The man¿s death is considered a homicide and a task force is formed.------------------- Takako, one of the few females in the division, and her grumpy partner Takizawa learn that the victim was a sexual predator into all kinds of criminal activities. A man in another section of town is attacked and killed by the same dog that bit the first victim. Both dead knew each other when they were younger and even wilder. A housewife is also attacked by the same animal and the police theorize she knew and hung out with both men before she went straight. Takako believes to solve the case they must find dog and its owner answer and brace for the possibility that the dog¿s trainer was once a cop.-------------------- Asa Nonami writes an exciting Japanese police procedural that gives readers a glimpse of what Tokyo feels like. Armchair travelers will definitely like this book because of the fascinating investigation in an exotic locale. It is hard to empathize with Takako because she has to hide behind a mask so the male police officers can¿t hurt her with their sexist remarks. More books starring this heroine will be very welcome.-------------- Harriet Klausner

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