Those who were in Japan in the winter of 1973-74 will recall the aftermath of the Arab-Israeli War: many public baths conserved oil by operating every other day; the neon lights of Ginza were blacked out; and commodity shortages spurred panic buying of laundry detergent and toilet paper.
In Keigo Higashino’s “Under the Midnight Sun” — set around this time — a boy playing in an abandoned Osaka construction site finds a dead body. The victim, pawnbroker Yosuke Kirihara, had made a large bank withdrawal shortly before being stabbed in the heart, and the motive for the crime appears to be robbery. Kirihara left behind a widow, a young son named Ryo and Matsuura, an employee at his pawnshop. Not long afterward, Yukiho Karasawa, a primary school classmate of Ryo Kirihara, loses her mother in a suspicious gas-leak accident. Read more