Book review: 『影の告発』by Takao Tsuchiya

影の告発 (かげのこくはつ)
Title: 影の告発 (かげのこくはつ)
First published: 1963
Published: 1975
Format: Digital
Series Number: 1
Page Count: 347
When a man is killed in the elevator of a department store full of people, the police has surprisingly little to get going: a visit card left in the elevator and an old photograph… 『影の告発』is the first book in the Prosecutor Chigusa series (千草検事シリーズ), it won the Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 1963.

If you like police investigation, this book is for you! There is nothing really original or mind blowing in this book, but it delivers exactly what the reader of detective novels is looking for and it does it very well.

The story is very straightforward, we have a murder at the beginning of the story, and then we follow the prosecutor and the detectives as they investigate the case.

The book contains everything you want to find in a good investigation like interrogating persons related to the case, digging up the past, putting clues together… with things culminating in an epic alibi war. We also have the bonus of the mystery of the visiting card, which was very engrossing in itself.

Funny thing is that the alibi part reminded me of scenes that I have read in Conan, and now I wonder if this particular scene in Gosho Aoyama’s manga was not a reference/homage to Takao Tsuchiya.

Every aspect of the investigation is well described and engrossing, the book always goes straight to the point and focuses entirely on the case, which makes the book a real page turner. This is exactly the kind of police investigation that I enjoy reading, and I will continue the series!

Other books by this author:
Cover of 赤の組曲, showing a what looks like an ink painting of trees. It’s covered with filling colours (blue and pink) which makes the painting difficult to see.2
Cover of 針の誘い. On a red background, the picture of a very young child sitting and facing towards us. There is a black rectangle across the child’s eyes, as it to conceal her identity.3