Toshihiko Yahagi gives us Japan's answer to Philip Marlowe in the form of the heavy drinking lone wolf Eiji Futamura, who finds himself embroiled in a case that pits loyalty and personal friendship against power and political corruption. Shady things are going on in post-war Kanagawa, but nothing can stop Futamura getting to the bottom of it all, no matter the cost. A suspenseful, intriguing read.
The Wrong Goodbye is a hard-boiled treasure, a Chandleresque elegy to a time of shady deals, femme fatales, and of course, murder. These are tropes with which mystery readers will undoubtedly be familiar. Yet this novel is also a beguiling peephole into a Japanese society that readers will perhaps not know so well; a world of US airbases, black markets, and corrupt ploys. While Toshihiko Yahagi may not be the heavyweight in the Anglophone world that he is in Japan, he very much deserves to be. Simply put, The Wrong Goodbye is a siren song of poetic noir.
Yahagi offers a Japanese Philip Marlowe chasing deadly fallout from the Vietnam War. Proof Brits and Americans have no monopoly on great crime fiction.