BookDragon Books for the Multi-Culti Reader

Soul Cage (Reiko Himekawa, Book 2) by Tetsuya Honda, translated by Giles Murray [in Library Journal]

Narrator Emily Woo Zeller went solo in The Silent Dead, which introduced Anglophone readers to Tokyo Metropolitan Police lieutenant Reiko Himekawa in her 2016 debut (smoothly rendered by Giles Murray who consistently translates again here); in Honda’s sophomore series title, Zeller has company. Feodor Chin performs the opening, almost growling through a construction site suicide that will, of course, prove to be a key element of the why behind this how- and whodunit. Josh Bloomberg – sounding youthfully tentative – takes over as the suicide victim’s son Kosuke, who finds nurturing companionship with guardian-of-sorts Kenichi Takaoka.

With the long prologue over, by the time Himekawa appears in Chapter 1, Takaoka is apparently dead, his severed hand found in a bloodied minivan. Despite a DNA match, too many details don’t add up, e.g., where’s the rest of the body? Himekawa’s unit spreads out to find answers, uncovering accidents-that-weren’t, widespread insurance fraud, and a horrifying link to the Yakuza. While Zeller efficiently, comfortably controls the majority of airtime as Himekawa, adding Chin and Bloomberg makes this sequel a more robust production than the series launch.

Verdict: Libraries working to encourage more internationally minded readers will want to enable listening in.

Review: modified from “Audio,” Library Journal, February 1, 2018

Readers: Adult

Published: 2007 (Japan), 2017 (United States)