The Poison Ape
A Shinjuku Shark Novel
By Arimasa Osawa
(Vertical, Paperback, 9781934287248, 320pp.)
Publication Date: December 16, 2008
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Detective Samejima works alone...because no one will work with him. Shunned by his peers, scorned by his superiors, and feared by the yakuza, "The Shark," as he is called, works the dangerous Shinjuku section of Tokyo.
This second installment of the popular Japanese series finds The Shark embroiled in a conflict among a professional Taiwanese killer, called "The Poison Ape"; the Taiwanese detective who pursues him; and the hard-hearted boss of the Taiwanese mafia. At stake: Shinjuku, the already treacherous streets of which will semm like an esplanade compared to the battlefield they will become if war breaks out between the Japanese and Taiwanese mafias.
The Shinjuku Shark series carries with it an atmosphere unique to Tokyo, which has been a selling point for such pop phenomena as Gwen STefani's entourage of Harajuku Girls, films like Lost in Translation, and the Edgar-nominated Out by Natsuo Kirino.
Arimasa Osawa was born in 1956 in Nagoya. After dropping out of Keio University, he dove head first into fiction writing, winning the First Detective Fiction Award in 1979 for his first novel, The Sentimental Street Corner. In 1991, he won the Eiji Yoshikawa Award and Japan Mystery Writers Association Award, and in 1993, the Naoki Award, all for installments in the Shinjuku Shark series.
“Samejima’s compelling struggle to find the truth and the startling revelation of the killer's motive will leave most readers eager for the next book in the series to become available.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Japanese screenwriter and novelist Osawa might find good company with television writers/producers like David Milch (NYPD Blue) or Barry Levinson (Homicide: Life on the Streets) for his depictions on television and in print of hard-hitting action and gritty police life. His popular detective series, now available in English, gives hard-boiled fans and police drama enthusiasts what they are hungry for.”
— Library Journal
“Shinjuku Shark uses said mean streets as the backdrop for the equally gritty story of Detective Samejima, the ‘shark’ of the title, with the gangsters of Shinjuku as his prey. The series has sold like crazy in Japan and inspired a screen adaptation, and it’s not hard to see why—its pavement-level fascination with the grimy criminal underworld of Japan comes through on every page like weeds shoving through concrete.”
“Shinjuku Shark is a rich, heavily-styled crime thriller worth the wait for its debut in English… This heated, hardboiled tale maintains its satisfying mystery through the final pages.”
— Reno News and Review
“A tough, taut book with loads of action. Ed McBain would love this guy. The good news is that Shinjuku Shark is the first of a series and there are plenty more to come.”
— The Globe and Mail