Blue Light Yokohama, by Nicolás Obregón

Police procedurals are not usually my thing but one of the greatest benefits of reviewing is discovering new works, new writers and so many exceptions to my usual tastes.

Blue Light Yokohama, written and read by Nicolás ObregónNicolás Obregón’s Blue Light Yokohama is a deceptively complex mystery beginning with a suicide and followed by several seemingly unrelated murders where the serial killer takes the time to make himself at home in his victims’ houses by doing normal activities like surfing the web or eating a snack.

Tokyo Inspector Kosuke Iwata and Assistant Inspector Noriko Sakai of the homicide department are both troubled people who are forced to work together to connect the murders and solve the deepening mystery.

Written and read by Nicolás Obregón, Japan’s thriving city of Tokyo forms a gritty backdrop for his mesmerising style of writing. With a dream-like narration of his own book, his words float off the page. Despite the grisly topic, pausing the playback is like forcing yourself to wake from that dream. His dulcet tones draw the listener into the story and the lives of the central characters.

Obregón spent two years researching the land for his debut novel, allowing him to bring incredible vibrancy and detail to the Japanese landscape and culture. His love of Tokyo is reflected in the namesake of the book, which was a hit love song in Japan in the late 1960s by Ayumi Ishida, who sung of her love of the city.

Running almost eleven and a half hours, Blue Light Yokohama is a satisfying police procedural that is lengthy enough to lose yourself in. It’s an absorbing listen that keeps its secrets to the end and an impressive first novel by an engaging new novelist. The audiobook was released in March 2017 by Bolinda Audio on standard CD and MP3 CD.

This review was first published on 29 April 2017 for Glam Adelaide.

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