Book review:『ノッキンオン・ロックドドア』by Yugo Aosaki

Title: ノッキンオン・ロックドドア
First published: 2016
Published: 2019
Format: Bunko
Page Count: 288

『ノッキンオン・ロックドドア』is a collection of 7 short stories. A second season is announced.

The publisher made a mini site for this novel that presents the story and the characters. There is also a special comic by Aco Arisaka 有坂あこ.


Hisame Katanashi and Tori Gotenba are two detectives who work in the same agency: Knockin’on Locked Door. Hisame is specialised on the “why” the crime was committed (what is the motive?) while Tori is specialised in solving “how” the crime was committed (what trick was used?). While they both excel in their speciality, they are lost when it comes to the other one’s area.


There are several things that I loved in this book and it was a refreshing, light and entertaining read!

First of all, I love the idea of having two detectives, each specialised in one aspect of what it takes to solve a murder. It feels so new! It is also interesting to see how Hisame and Tori complement each other: asking suspects, inspecting the crime scenes, looking for out of place details… each detective focuses on his speciality and leave the rest to the other.

I also liked the structure of the book. There are 7 stories (7 cases) and each is around 40 pages. I like the consistency of this structure. For each story, we jump in the case right from the beginning (either a client comes to the agency or the police asks for the detectives’ help), and they were all engrossing.

Another touch that I liked very much is how the narrator changes. Some stories are told from the point of view of Tori and some from the point of view of Hisame. It is interesting to see what each detective thinks of the other! And again, it feels refreshing and new.

Finally, I liked the humour and the general tone of the book.

If you like mystery novels, solving puzzle, and are looking for a light, entertaining read, you will certainly like 『ノッキンオン・ロックドドア』 !

7 thoughts on “Book review:『ノッキンオン・ロックドドア』by Yugo Aosaki

  1. Interesting! There’s going to be a drama adaptation of Knockin’ on Locked Door starring Matsumura Hokuto (Tori) and Nishihata Daigo (Hisame) and I’m very excited about it now ^^

    1. Oh I didn’t know about the drama adaptation. I just watched the teaser, it looks great! It makes me want to read the second book of the series 🙂

      1. I wish I could read the novel, but unfortunately I don’t know Japanese :’)
        Anyway, I’d love to read a review for the second book of the series, as well ^^

        1. Thank you! I hope it gets translated one day, but unfortunately, translations to English seem to be more focused on literary fiction than genre fiction… I guess it could change if the drama is very popular!

      2. Oh, and I’ve just seen your post on Mastodon where you talk about abbreviated titles. It does happen a lot in Japanese media. Countless examples come to my mind mind and it isn’t limited to long titles, but short ones too:
        消えた初恋 → 消恋
        神様のえこひいき → 神えこ
        彼女、お借りします → かのかり
        壁サー同人作家の猫屋敷くんは承認欲求をこじらせている → 壁こじ

        1. I was looking for more examples, Thank you! The last one is really long, it’s the longest title I’ve ever seen I think! I can see why shorter versions appeared.

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