Japan, 1936. The painter Heikichi Umezawa is found dead in a locked room in his studio.
In the room the police finds the diary of the painter, and from the delirious pages emerges a passion for astrology and his determination to create the divinity Azoth by putting together a perfect body, made from parts from his daughters ones.
The diary seems a delirium of a mad man, but some months after the painter’s death his daughter disappear and their bodies are found mutilated in various location in the Country. This way the Tokio Zodiac Murder case becomes legend.
Forty years later the case is still unsolved, and a couple of friends decide to try to find a solution; even if all the people involved in the case are old or already dead.
The Tokio Zodiac Murders is a crime book that is also a honkaku, that means it is focused on clues and the reader is invited to solve the case before the final revelation (it happens also here: the author explicitly invites the reader to think and solve the riddle).
The crime solution is not an easy one (at least for me: I was not able to find the trick), the book is clever and it’s nice this structure that allows also the reader to be actively part of the story.
* The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada ★★★★☆
*I read this book in english