The novel was mostly better than I expected and then worse than I had expected.

I don’t read many mysteries, but I know enough that this was not your typical police procedural – to its benefit. Mikami is a former detective; former because he was transferred to media relations and made the department’s director.

The tension comes from the protagonist seeming to discover a conspiracy to cover up police misconduct during the investigation of a now fourteen year old kidnapping case (internally nicknamed ‘Six Four’).

When that is revealed, the author keeps up the tension, but something slips. It’s not clear what the endgame is nor what Mikami will actually have to do with it. And, in the end, the resolution seems to have little to do with him.

Six Four got a good bit of favorable coverage in the press and after reading another Japanese mystery some time ago, I decided to give this one a try. This one is more a psychological tale and the differences between American and Japanese norms both more and less visible. Perhaps the ‘more’ has to do with with I found unsatisfying about the last hundred pages or so.

That all being said, if you read a lot of mysteries, chances are, Six Four is better than ninety percent of what you’ve been perusing.