In the Japanese Hit ‘Six Four,’ a Police Inspector Weighs Questions of Loyalty

By Terrence Rafferty

By Hideo Yokoyama
Translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davies.
566 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $28.

“Was it possible that, in that silence, all worlds were connected?” This strange question, which turns out to be the key sentence in Hideo Yokoyama’s superb “Six Four,” sounds like something from a science-fiction novel, a lonely astronaut’s meditation in deep space. But “Six Four” is a crime novel, set right here in our world — a world that this story’s hero, a middle-aged prefectural policeman named Yoshinobu Mikami, comes to find nearly unrecognizable, a world gone mute. It’s an odd feeling for someone like Mikami, who’s used to getting answers. He has spent most of his career as a detective, until a recent, unwelcome transfer to Media Relations; he’s clearly a man who’s happier digging for the truth than doling it out in bite-size pieces to the fractious press. The events of “Six Four” conspire to make him (unofficially) an investigator again. Mysteries swirl around him — and through him, because Superintendent Mikami, at this unsettled moment in his life, is also a mystery to himself. Read more

Source: The New York Times