Authors

Soji Shimada

Soji Shimada 島田荘司

Soji Shimada (1948–)  made a splashy debut in 1981 after his novel The Tokyo Zodiac Murders (tr. 2005) became a finalist for the Edogawa Rampo Prize, a competition that solicits unpublished mystery manuscripts; the highly elaborate plot and improbable solution were a big hit among mystery fans. He followed this success by turning Detective Kiyoshi Mitarai, who solves the zodiac murders, into the central character of a series now running to over two dozen volumes and counting. In addition to producing a total of more than 100 titles in subsequent years, including a series adapted to television that centers on Detective Takeshi Yoshiki, he has been active in mentoring younger writers such as Yukito Ayatsuji and Rintaro Norizuki, and as a leading promoter of the sub-genre known as honkaku (roughly, "the real thing") mysteries in Japan, which present puzzles that are fair to the reader. His attention to future writers also includes serving on the selection committees for a New Mystery Writer Prize sponsored by his native city of Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture, and a prize for new writers of mysteries in Chinese sponsored by a Taiwanese publisher. Oddly, Shimada did not receive any major literary award himself until 2008, when he was awarded the Japan Mystery Fiction Prize for his body of work. Among his best-known titles are Natsu, jukyusai no shozo (Summer?Portrait of a Nineteen-Year-Old), Kirisaki Jakku, hyakunen no kodoku (Jack the Ripper?One Hundred Years of Solitude), Kurayamizaka no hitokui no ki (The Cannibal Tree of Darkness Hill), and Matenro no kaijin (The Phantom of the Skyscraper).

 

 

Books by Soji Shimada
  • Book

    The Tokyo Zodiac Murders

    The opening of this novel reveals the thoughts of a painter, Heikichi Umezawa. Spurred by his belief that he is possessed by Satan, his hallucinations and intentions are horrific and gruesome. He plans to sacrifice six beautiful young virgins be …

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  • Book

    Alcatraz Visions

    What if the dropping of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States could have been prevented? In this blockbuster entertainment, one of the giants of mystery writing in Japan boldly imagines how history might have been altered. The s …

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