Detective Kaga has just been transferred to a small precinct in an area of Tokyo. However, he is interrupted in his attempts to get to know his new home by a murder investigation. A middle-aged woman was found dead in her home, the victim of strangulation, and the police have no leads as to the perpetrator. However, with his objective perspective and uncanny ability to piece together the smallest details, Kaga dedicates himself to finding the killer.
In the process of investigating the murder, he comes across various people with a link, however small and intangible, to the murder. Kaga does his best to acquire answers to questions these bystanders never thought to ask, and attempts to give them peace and solace in the place of grief.
Despite being an immensely fun whodunit, Newcomer is a surprisingly feel-good read, with a heart-warming plot and characters. Keigo Higashino cleverly illustrates that no man is an island, and that a community, like a family, needs each other, and is shaped by those around them. A violent action that taints a small town evolves under Higashino’s guide into a lesson of the importance of forgiveness, love, and peace, and the delicate thread which holds these aspects in a precarious balance.
Newcomer is an easy and thoroughly enjoyable read, and I doubt anyone will be surprised when they start it to discover that they cannot book the book down. A single sitting was all it took me to delve into the Kaga’s world, and I loved every minute. Higashino is a very talented storyteller who is rewriting the detective story, one thoughtful action at a time. In a world where there is so much darkness, his characters and their actions shed a hopeful light, and is is pure bliss to follow. Enjoyable is an understatement - this book will change the way you see crime drama, and most assuredly for the better.
Newcomer by Keigo Higashino is published by Little, Brown Book Group, a Hachette Company, and is available in South Africa from Jonathan Ball Publishers.