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10 thoughts on “Unknown Male

  1. says:

    4.5 stars After spending the last 10 years working as a private detective in LA, Inspector Kosuke Iwata returns to his native Japan, primarily to take charge of an investigation into the murder of English exchange student Skye Mackintosh, but there are also some ghosts of his own that he needs to exorcise while he s back on home turf.Running parallel to this investigation is that of numerous missing sex workers The perpetrator is quite unremarkable his disguise He has no distinguishing fea 4.5 stars After spending the last 10 years working as a private detective in LA, Inspector Kosuke Iwata returns to his native Japan, primarily to take charge of an investigation into the murder of English exchange student Skye Mackintosh, but there are also some ghosts of his own that he needs to exorcise while he s back on home turf.Running parallel to this investigation is that of numerous missing sex workers The perpetrator is quite unremarkable his disguise He has no distinguishing features, nothing that would induce someone to give him a second look, someone who just blends in with the rest of us the perfect persona for a serial killer This time out Inspector Iwata really has his work cut out his orders are to find the student s killer quickly with the Tokyo Olympics due to start, the powers that be want it resolved before it sours the reputation of Tokyo.Nicol s Obreg n s writing is so beautiful that it belies the dark content within, and make no mistake this IS a chilling noir tale it s also very complex as Iwata painstakingly digs into Tokyo s sleazy underbelly, resulting in a fair few suspects, but none of whom feel quite right to Iwata, but he keeps digging until he gets the required results Loving this series although it can be read as a stand alone Another riveting read from Mr Obreg n Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin UK Michael Joseph for my ARC I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange


  2. says:

    In the 3rd of Nicolas Obregon s series, Inspector Kosuke Iwata leaves LA after working as a PI for missing persons, returning to Tokyo after an absence of 10 years, a place that holds memories of trauma, tragedy, sorrow, and grief Obregon s Japan set Noir drips with atmosphere as he immerses us in the neon lights of the city, it s culture, criminal underbelly, sex workers, the growing tribes of homeless living by the river, a Tokyo anxiously preparing for the upcoming Olympics Iwata has return In the 3rd of Nicolas Obregon s series, Inspector Kosuke Iwata leaves LA after working as a PI for missing persons, returning to Tokyo after an absence of 10 years, a place that holds memories of trauma, tragedy, sorrow, and grief Obregon s Japan set Noir drips with atmosphere as he immerses us in the neon lights of the city, it s culture, criminal underbelly, sex workers, the growing tribes of homeless living by the river, a Tokyo anxiously preparing for the upcoming Olympics Iwata has returned at the behest of his old mentor and boss, Commissioner Shindo, a terminally ill man, now a frail shadow of himself, to serve as consultant and lead Inspector on the politically sensitive case of the murder of 22 year old English exchange student, the beautiful Skye Mackintosh at a love hotel Arriving in Tokyo with Skye s grieving family and boyfriend, Dylan White, is DC Anthea Lynch, a woman of mixed Nigerian and Irish heritage, to support the family and observe the murder investigation.Iwata s appointment stirs up resentment and jealousy in his police team, and whilst his and Lynch s position owesto PR and reputation management than any integrity, the two mismatched detectives form a strangely effective partnership Additionally, Iwata had an ulterior motive in accepting the case, he wants to address the demons that haunted his troubled childhood, planning to address old injustices but will this threaten his new life with son Santi Meanwhile, fear runs rampant amongst women with the disappearance of sex workers They are the victims of a sick and unhinged serial killer, Mr Soto, a careful and intelligent salaryman, unobtrusive, unremarkable in apearance and demeanour, the invisible man that is noticed by no one as he goes about his well planned everyday macabre life.This latest addition to the series by Obregon is the best one yet, he shines with his rich and lyrical descriptions of a Tokyo that feels like a living, breathing, vibrant and contrary character in its own right, a multilayered and complex city well practiced in the art of seduction, but hard faced, cruel, ruthless and unforgiving, yet insidiously unforgettable, a city that makes its mark on a person for life The central protagonist Iwata faces the horrors of his past, Hideo Akashi s final moments, the unbearable memories of the loss of Cleo and Nina, and Norika Sakai He begins to find a certain sense of coming to terms with who he now is as he lays the ghosts of his past to rest, bringing Santi to Tokyo, gaining a much needed measure of peace This is a beautifully written novel, you can visualise the city and the diverse range of characters with ease, everything all feels so vividly alive, with its echoes of the old classic crime noirs A brilliant read Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC


  3. says:

    So we come to the last instalment of Nicolas Obregon s remarkable Tokyo trilogy featuring former detective Kosuke Iwata Having previously reviewed both Blue Light Yokohama and Sins As Scarlet and quite frankly, raved about both, I approached Unknown Male withthan a sense of delicious anticipation What I love about Obregon as a writer is the way he so consistently holds his reader in the palm of his hand and the sense of real storytelling that is so absolutely central to the narrative I So we come to the last instalment of Nicolas Obregon s remarkable Tokyo trilogy featuring former detective Kosuke Iwata Having previously reviewed both Blue Light Yokohama and Sins As Scarlet and quite frankly, raved about both, I approached Unknown Male withthan a sense of delicious anticipation What I love about Obregon as a writer is the way he so consistently holds his reader in the palm of his hand and the sense of real storytelling that is so absolutely central to the narrative I must admit that I find it hard to define what it is about his writing that enthrals me, but will try in my own ham fisted way to do so Firstly I think Obregon s obvious love affair with Tokyo is absolutely central to this book, and his fearlessness in portraying this city with very much a love hate edge to his depiction of it As he walked, he inhaled a cologne of rubbish, exhaust, wet concrete No city hadnameless streets or alleyways To walk through her ways was to be inveigled in her web She murmured from steam vents and snickered from overflowing gutters All through the book the intangible hold of the city both on the main characters, and the general populace is front and centre, with Obregon exposing the pulsing beat of a city where there is a real sense of sink or swim, poverty or success and a constant feel of movement in this shingle beach of crossed purpose Obregon also emphasises how easily people become lost, in this teeming morass of people, whether slaves to a wage, slaves to people basest violent desires, and how people seek to navigate a society that slows for no man Although our detective figure Iwata is a native to the city, Obregon also instils in him a feeling of having to get to grips with this mercurial city after time abroad, and the very particular problems that arise in having to almost start afresh in navigating its unique idiosyncrasies.Iwata himself is also a complicated soul, imbued with a deep sense of morality pertaining to his professional standards and the way he conducts himself in relation to this particular investigation However, back amongst his countrymen he does at times seem like a square peg in a round hole, as his methods and thought process put him at odds with his fellow investigators He is an outsider, but in that mould proves to be extremely effective at approaching the case from a different angle, and intuitive thinking The issue of morality is explored in many ways throughout the book both through Iwata who is also seeking some personal retribution, but also through the British female detective Anthea Lynch who finds herself despatched to Tokyo after a serious blip in her own career and individuals involved with Skye, the murder victim Throw into the mix one of the most strangely motivated serial killers I have encountered for some time the thermos flask eugh and what Obregon gives us is a real smorgasboard of the good, the bad and ugly where the lines of morality and decent behaviour become fractured, and at times difficult to discern People acting in surprising and unpredictable ways give a real emotional heft to this book, and also work beautifully in concealing the real villains of the piece, with revenge being another incredibly strong motif resonating through the characters.I think it goes without saying that Unknown Male has secured a place in my Top 5 of the year with its masterful depth of characterisation, use of location with Tokyo as a living and breathing entity so crucial to the lives and crimes unfolding within it, and the way that the book keeps you in its grasp from beginning to end It is the close to a trilogy which left me tinged with sadness as I loved these books so much, but also heartens me that hopefullyreaders will discover these for themselves Absolutely outstanding


  4. says:

    Unknown Male is the third instalment in the Inspector Kosuke Iwata series and how could I resist reading it given I am a Japanophile and these gripping thrillers are based in Tokyo, Japan Each instalment can be read as a standalone as the story is self contained, however, you will miss out on Iwata s backstory somewhat It follows a seemingly ordinary guy living his life the way most people do working day in day out and going back each night to his family home where his wife and child await hi Unknown Male is the third instalment in the Inspector Kosuke Iwata series and how could I resist reading it given I am a Japanophile and these gripping thrillers are based in Tokyo, Japan Each instalment can be read as a standalone as the story is self contained, however, you will miss out on Iwata s backstory somewhat It follows a seemingly ordinary guy living his life the way most people do working day in day out and going back each night to his family home where his wife and child await him But Mr Soto is a serial killer with a penchant for the sadistic which results in a number of sex workers being cruelly plucked from the seedy Tokyo underbelly and subjected to horrifying torture before being murdered in cold blood The second strand of the plot revolves around the death of a young British girl, Skye Mackintosh, discovered at a hotel who was in the country studying This means Iwata must liaise with Anthea Lynch from the Metropolitan police service back in the UK.I thoroughly enjoyed this complex and compulsive story and feel it is Obregon s best to date It s jarring how one can be a brutal killer yet hold down a job and have a pretty mundane and uneventful family life too It reminds us that you never know who could be doing what Iwata and Lynch are in some ways mirror images of one another as they both have disgraced themselves in the line of duty and have lost the respect of many of their peers They have overstepped the mark one too many times and appear to have problems listening to their superiors and following rules Although sometimes rules are there to be broken The tale is a gripping and fascinating one and the depictions of Tokyo were magical and so vivid I felt as though I was actually there Not for the faint hearted, this is a gritty, gruesome page turner with twists aplenty and a shocking conclusion to put the cherry on the cake Many thanks to Michael Joseph for an ARC


  5. says:

    This is the third novel of a series, although the first I ve read Apart from a section dealing with the central character s childhood and his poisonous relationship with his father, I still found it read pretty well as a standalone.Inspector Kosuke Iwata leaves the US, where he has been working as a private investigator and returns to Tokyo after a 10 year absence at the request of his old boss to investigate the murder of a 22 year old female English student.The novel is actually set slightly This is the third novel of a series, although the first I ve read Apart from a section dealing with the central character s childhood and his poisonous relationship with his father, I still found it read pretty well as a standalone.Inspector Kosuke Iwata leaves the US, where he has been working as a private investigator and returns to Tokyo after a 10 year absence at the request of his old boss to investigate the murder of a 22 year old female English student.The novel is actually set slightly in the future 2020, to be precise, and Tokyo is busy getting prepared for the forthcoming Olympic games Obregon paints a picture of a city in turmoil full of corrupt politicians, seedy suburbs ruled by gangsters and legions of homeless people subsisting on the river banks.Almost predictably, Iwata s attempts to solve the murder are thwarted by police officers envious of him being given the lead role His only ally, it seems, is English police officer DC Anthea Lynch who arrived as liaison for the victim s family.This is an intricately plotted novel which actually deals with two separate crimes The location descriptions are very evocative and there is a strong cast of characters, including the complex and troubled Inspector Iwata


  6. says:

    This a ratheraccessible story than most home grown Japanese crime fiction like The Devotion Of Suspect X, and similar The clever investigative tangle retains the hallmarks of its genre an implacable killer, a genuinely perplexing mystery, complex characters motivated by conflicting experiences but it s not as outright bizarre as some Japanese fiction can be Even so, this sophisticated story is definitelychallenging than the average police procedural.This is the third book to This a ratheraccessible story than most home grown Japanese crime fiction like The Devotion Of Suspect X, and similar The clever investigative tangle retains the hallmarks of its genre an implacable killer, a genuinely perplexing mystery, complex characters motivated by conflicting experiences but it s not as outright bizarre as some Japanese fiction can be Even so, this sophisticated story is definitelychallenging than the average police procedural.This is the third book to feature the intellectually brilliant but psychologically scarred Inspector Iwata He returns to his native Japan after years in America, as a stranger in a strange land, not a welcome prodigal son But he s the perfect expendable person to assign to a sensitive case which involves the death of a young English woman I read the first Iwata book Blue Light Yokohama a while back and missed the next one, so was somewhat behind with the character s development That wasn t a problem the story of Unknown Male is entirely self contained Obreg n instils real depth in his characters with minimal exposition He s unleashed a genuinely ghastly killer, one who manipulates his victims with callous brutality but who passes unnoticed in the commuter throng An anonymous salaryman, invisible in his dark suit and white shirt, an insidious stalker with a heart full of hate.The investigators are rathercolourful and no less intense A British police officer is sent to Tokyo as a liaison observer, and she is a splendidly conflicted character in her own right She s provides a familiar reference point for western readers to engage with an unfamiliar, occasionally unfathomable culture.Even so, there are many moments of savage brutality, quiet poetry and oblique misery in Unknown Male Don t expect to be spoon fed a straightforward story much is understated or ambiguous like that brilliant title, for instance.Superb storytelling for the patient reader who enjoys the challenge of literary crime fiction Not necessarily an easy ride 8 10I review stackscrime fiction in detail over at


  7. says:

    Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.An exceptionally dark twisty thriller from an immensely gifted author.Nicolas Obregon s Unknown Male is a masterful example of Japanese Noir With its descriptions of the seething underbelly of Tokyo and its everyday man serial killer, Mr Soto, who typifies the banality of evil Hannah Arendt spoke so chillingly of, Obregon has written a compelling thriller This book is not for the faint hearted, however With Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.An exceptionally dark twisty thriller from an immensely gifted author.Nicolas Obregon s Unknown Male is a masterful example of Japanese Noir With its descriptions of the seething underbelly of Tokyo and its everyday man serial killer, Mr Soto, who typifies the banality of evil Hannah Arendt spoke so chillingly of, Obregon has written a compelling thriller This book is not for the faint hearted, however With its stark backdrop of a darker Tokyo, far removed from the genteel face that will be presented to the world during the Tokyo Olympics, and its graphic scenes of mutilation and torture, Unknown Male is both thought provoking and frightening Frightening, precisely because Mr Soto is a monster who walks among us with a very human face These are the monsters which truly haunt our dreams and who Obregon s captures so expertly in his narrative This book kept me awake precisely for these reasons reasons which also speak profoundly of this author s talent in being able to engage with his readers in such a profound way In this Obregon shows an acute understanding of the human condition as exemplified the actions of its main protagonists, Mr Soto and the investigating detectives Iwata and Lynch This is not a quick read for the uninitiated in Japanese culture, but its pay off is immense This is a twisty, sophisticated mystery that will keep you gripped to the end


  8. says:

    A dark and gripping thriller set in the seedy underbelly of Tokyo Detective Inspector Kosuke Iwata is called back to his native Japan for the first time in almost 10 years to investigate the murder of a British exchange student, Skye Mackintosh, who has been found dead in a sordid love hotel The orders are to find the killer before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, to avoid damaging the city s international reputation, and DC Anthea Lynch is brought in from London to support Skye s grieving fa A dark and gripping thriller set in the seedy underbelly of Tokyo Detective Inspector Kosuke Iwata is called back to his native Japan for the first time in almost 10 years to investigate the murder of a British exchange student, Skye Mackintosh, who has been found dead in a sordid love hotel The orders are to find the killer before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, to avoid damaging the city s international reputation, and DC Anthea Lynch is brought in from London to support Skye s grieving family and to assist in the investigation At the same time, the police department in Tokyo are dealing with the disappearances of several sex workers The man behind this, the unremarkable Mr Sato, is hiding in plain sight, his complete normality and lack of distinguishing features the perfect mask for the evil, sadistic killer within As Iwata hunts for Skye s murderer, he finds himself clashing with the rest of the police forces who resent him as an outsider, and also realises his return to Tokyo means he must face some of his own demons from the past This is the third of Nicolas Obregon s novels that I have been fortunate enough to read, and it certainly does not disappoint Despite being part of a series, it can easily be read and enjoyed as a standalone story, with a whip fast plot and plenty of twists, turns and chills packed in throughout The author s descriptions of Tokyo are so incredibly atmospheric and detailed that the reader almost feels as if they are there under the neon lights and amongst the hustle and bustle of the city, with both its beautiful and its dark sides described perfectly Iwata is a complex and empathic character with a strong sense of morality, whose motivations and loyalties are put to the test as he comes to terms with his past losses, including his beloved wife and child Lynch is also an interesting character and her relationship with Iwata as a fellow outsider worked well However, the standout character in this novel was the chilling Mr Sato, a monster with a human face, whose sick and twisted behaviour stayed in my mind long after I put down the book My criticisms of this novel are few, but I would potentially say that the development of Iwata s character is not as expanded in this instalment as in the previous books Additionally, some parts of this story are very dark and gruesome indeed, and some readers may find them gratuitous, and the ending twist was perhaps a little predictable In conclusion, I very much enjoyed this novel, and whilst it may be the last instalment in the Inspector Iwata series, I sincerely hope it is not the last I read of this author I cannot recommend this series enough to any fan of crime thrillers Daenerys Elite Reviewing Group received a copy of the book to review


  9. says:

    After a gap of ten years, Kosuke Iwata has returned to Tokyo to investigate the murder of a young British student, Skye Mackintosh The Olympic Games are about to begin, the eyes of the world are on Tokyo, and the Japanese authorities have to be seen to do everything by the book DC Anthea Lynch from the Met has been sent over with Skye s family to assist as she speaks some Japanese Like Iwata, she has a disregard for authority but is also an excellent detective There is a parallel storyline a After a gap of ten years, Kosuke Iwata has returned to Tokyo to investigate the murder of a young British student, Skye Mackintosh The Olympic Games are about to begin, the eyes of the world are on Tokyo, and the Japanese authorities have to be seen to do everything by the book DC Anthea Lynch from the Met has been sent over with Skye s family to assist as she speaks some Japanese Like Iwata, she has a disregard for authority but is also an excellent detective There is a parallel storyline about the disappearance of sex workers there does not appear to be any connection between the two cases The story mostly focuses on Iwata, interspersed with the thoughts of Mr Sato an invisible man in a suit, with a horrific secret I have read all of Nicolas Obregon s books featuring Kosuke Iwata Blue Light Yokohama and Sins as Scarlet and this is his best yet a gripping thriller with just the right mix of description, action and dialogue Even though Nicolas Obregon is not a native of Japan, his poetic descriptions of the neon lit streets of Tokyo, and insights into Japanese culture, make Unknown Male a wonderful example of Japanese noir It remains to be seen whether this is the last book to feature Kosuke Iwata, but I hope we catch up with him again one day Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a copy to review


  10. says:

    Iwata has been working in the US for ten years as an investigator when he s recalled to Japan to find out who murdered an English girl in a love hotel There are tensions with the local police, the higher ups and the press Meanwhile, there s an unknown male disappearing sex workers This was brilliant I liked the characters and the twists were enough to keep you reading Slightly gross serial killer at work who pretty much put me off my tea which doesn t happen very often Not sure if there wi Iwata has been working in the US for ten years as an investigator when he s recalled to Japan to find out who murdered an English girl in a love hotel There are tensions with the local police, the higher ups and the press Meanwhile, there s an unknown male disappearing sex workers This was brilliant I liked the characters and the twists were enough to keep you reading Slightly gross serial killer at work who pretty much put me off my tea which doesn t happen very often Not sure if there will bebooks about Iwata but if this was the final one, it left him at a good point


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Unknown Male [PDF / EPUB] Unknown Male THE GRIPPING NEW THRILLER FROM NICOL S OBREG NHe is a completely unremarkable manWho wears the same black suit every dayBoards the same train to work each morningAnd arrives home to his wife and son e THE GRIPPING NEW THRILLER FROM NICOL S OBREG NHe is a completely unremarkable manWho wears the same black suit every dayBoards the same train to work each morningAnd arrives home to his wife and son each nightBut he has a secretHe likes to kill people Set in the neon drenched streets of Tokyo, this gripping thriller will have you on the edge of your seat.