Sins as Scarlet by Nicholás Obregón

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Kosuke Iwata, former detective with the Tokyo Police Department,  has returned to LA, where he grew up, and is now a private Investigator.

Meredith Nichol has been found strangled on lonely train tracks behind LA’s skid row. Iwata knew her, and is persuaded by her mother to search for her killer.

That hunt will take him through LA’s seedy backstreets, from the world of transgender hate crime to a world of corruption and exploitation at the Mexican border.

This is a dark thriller, the plot at times, and especially towards the end, a little too complicated. Having said that this is a gripping read, with Iwata a compelling and complex character haunted by his past. The story moves from   LA, to the equally squalid quarters of a corrupt Mexican town and the dangers of the desert wastelands. Iwata is a captivating character, brooding and damaged but driven by a need for truth and justice.


This book is a follow up to Nicolas Obregon’s Blue Light Yokohawa. It gives us more of Iwata’s backstory and more insight into his complicated relationship with his mother Nozomi. Throughout the book and almost like a story within it, is the story of a young Nozomi  growing up in 1970’s Tokyo, and  her tragic past.

I really enjoyed this book that is both a classic and very contemporary crime novel, with its striking and all too human central characters and hope there will be more in the Iwata series.


You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.


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