Although this is the second book in the Shig Sato series, it reads well as a stand- alone. That being said, Joseph Mark Brewer has created a lovable Columbo type character in Shig Sato. In The Thief’s Mistake Sato teams up with his friend Ken Abe to start a private detective agency.
At first Sato seems hesitant to jump into his new career. But a call from the Osaka police department telling him the Kobayashi twins are requesting to see him piques his curiosity and he steps into a strange investigation. Fascinated by the somewhat crazy story they tell of overhearing a plot to steal something valuable, attempting to snatch the item themselves, and finding themselves in the middle of a murder investigation he dives in to seeking the truth.
Complicating matters is the arrival of a local businessman whose involvement in the affair confuses Sato. But he is certain if he can unravel the threads the twins will be found innocent and the true plot will be revealed.
The key seems to lie with a ten year old autistic boy whose mother is highly resistant to having the child involved in what she sees as a dangerous situation. As Sato and Abe work in tandem they are able to convince the mother to allow the child to help.
Skillfully following the trail of breadcrumbs Sato not only follows the clues, he also follows his investigator gut to a satisfying conclusion. Throughout the story connections to Sato’s own complex past are mentioned with enough explanation for even a first time reader of the series.
Brewer’s grasp of Japanese culture and his ability to weave a thrilling and suspenseful tale is excellent. Although there are typos and grammar glitches in the book it in no way detracted from my reading of the story. I enjoyed trying to guess what Sato’s next step would be and how he would find the answers he needed to help the Kobayashi’s.
I look forward to more Shig Sato mysteries.
It was the perfect plan
After a summer mourning his beloved wife Miki, Shig Sato is back in Tokyo. Mandatory retirement forced him out of the police department. Now he is a private investigator, working alongside his best friend, Ken Abe.
But Sato is in no hurry to begin his new career. Then he gets a call from the chief at the Osaki police station. When Sato hears the Kobayashi twins have been arrested for murder, he decides to check out the their improbable story. It begins with ‘the perfect plan.’ It doesn’t take long for Sato to realize he’s on the trail of arson and murder, thanks to a lying businessman’s fraudulent schemes.
Then Sato finds out an innocent 10-year-old autistic boy knows about ‘the perfect plan’ – too much, in fact.
Will Sato be able to prove the businessman is responsible for the death and mayhem? Will he be able to save the child from a psychotic killer?