Prefecture D
Hideo Yokoyama
Riverrun 2019
217 pages

Prefecture D by Hideo Yokoyama is like nothing you’ve read before. Set in Japan, it is a police procedural made up of four 60-something page stories. Unlike your usual police procedural, Prefecture D presents the behind the scenes events behind the Tokyo police force. There are no murders here but there is a lot of intrigue.

The linking element in Prefecture D is Shinji Fuwatari, head of Personel. In the first story, Season of Shadows, his elaborate and time-consuming organigram for this years promotions and demotions is totally disrupted by a Captain’s refusal to retire on time. Futawatari tries to convince the man to retire and in doing so finds out why this may take a little longer than planned.

Cry of the Earth has Internal Affairs looking into allegations that a Station Chief is behavhing improperly. Are these allegations true or do they have something to do with the upcoming promotion announcements?

In Black Lines, a young sketch artist is guilty of falsifying a witness’ description to fit a particular individual. She does not show up for work the next day. This causes Sergeant Tomoko, who is in charge of hte women’s section to try to find the sketch artist and find out what happened. Again, promotion season has something to do with the events.

The last story in Prefecture D by Hideo yokoyama is Briefcase. A political liaison officer is told someone has some compromising information and he must get it and put the culprit out of harm’s way. It is not quite that simple.

Prefecture D by Hideo Yokoyama is an odd thriller where the behind the scene events of a police force are brought to light. It is very original and different. As to whether or not you will like it … Well, I am still ambivalent about reading this thriller but I learned a lot about Japanese police.

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