'Imperfect Strangers: an Inspector Inoue mystery' by Lea O'Harra (the pen name of Wendy Jones Nakanishi) is published in digital form by Endeavour Press (UK) and in print by Fine Line Press (New Zealand)
'Imperfect Strangers' is a murder mystery set in small-town, present-day Japan. President Nomura, head of a university in Kyushu, the westernmost island of Japan, is found with his throat slit in his office. Chief Inspector Inoue of the local police learns that the victim had many enemies and few friends. Digging deeper, Inoue uncovers a web of deceit and self-deception, with nearly everyone involved harbouring his own secrets and lies. To find Nomura's killer, the chief inspector realises he must take into account issues festering in modern-day Japanese society. He faces his greatest challenge, risking professional ruin and personal disgrace, in his race to solve the case.
'Imperfect Strangers' touches upon such topics as the growing popularity of international marriage in what has traditionally been a homogeneous society, the Korean fingerprinting issue, gender discrimination in the workplace and at home, tensions between the general populace and far right, supposedly patriotic elements, and Japan's demographic crisis precipitated by an ageing population and a shrinking birthrate.
'Imperfect Strangers' is available on Amazon as an e-book or in a print version.
Dr. Fiona Peters is Reader in Crime Fiction at Bath Spa University in the UK. She is a Patricia Highsmith scholar and is director of the Captivating Criminality project.