Hara / Umezawa – Jigokuhen
Wistbook 009 / Edition series. 100 / Format. 3″cd and novella…
A murder mystery by one of today’s finest crime writers, “Jigokuhen” takes place in a declining coastal city whose once thriving harbours and shipyards now house a shadowy criminal underworld. Drawn into this world when the son of the city’s mayor is killed, a jaded middle-aged detective finds himself distracted by a beautiful unemployed dockworker who spends each day walking aimlessly along the shore, and whose mysterious past may just hold the key to solving the crime. Throughout the novella, these two characters act as allegories of the dingy concrete metropolis and the wild untamed sea that borders it, City and Nature constantly approaching and withdrawing. The plot reaches a climax with a shootout in a warehouse, but the action plays second fiddle to the relationship between the detective and the dockworker, which remains ambivalent and by the end of the novel remains unresolved. Quiet, yet intensely evocative, “Jigokuhen” is a literary tour de force.
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