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Toshihiko Yahagi

  • Original Title: RONGU GUDDOBAI
  • Publication date: December 2004
  • Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten
  • Country: JP
  • 591 print pages
  • Crime fiction/Noir


  • Epoch: Mixed
  • Time Period: 20th century, 21st century
  • Location setting: Japan, Vietnam
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Search for the truth, Death, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Identity fraud, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Power, War and other conflicts, Corruption, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Multiculturalism, Commitment, Friendship


A police detective investigates corruption and murder in the Okinawa region of Japan. A noir pastiche which deals with modern day corruption in Japan and builds a dark picture of the US-Japan postwar alliance.


Translation rights sold: UK

THE WRONG GOODBYE is the third book in the DETECTIVE FUTAMURA series. It is Yahagi's first work to be translated into English.

Manga artist-turned-novelist Toshihiko Yahagi is Japan’s premier writer of intellectual noir and political satire, author of over 30 titles.


A wry salute to Raymond Chandler, THE WRONG GOODBYE pits homicide detective Eiji Futamura against a shady Chinese business empire and US military intelligence in the docklands of recession Japan. When the frozen corpse of immigrant barkeep Tran Binh Long washes up in midsummer near Yokosuka US Navy Base, Futamura meets a strange customer from Tran’s bar. Vietnam vet pilot Billy Lou Bonney talks Futamura into hauling three suitcases of “goods” to Yokota US Air Base late at night and flies off leaving a dead woman behind.

Suddenly implicated in a murder suspect’s escape and relieved from active duty, Futamura takes on hack work for beautiful concert violinist Aileen Hsu, a “boat people” orphan whose Japanese adoptve mother has mysteriously gone missing. And now a phone call from a bestselling yakuza author, a one-time black marketeer in Saigon, hints at inside information on “former Vietcong mole” Tran and his “old sidekick” Billy Lou, both of whom crossed a triad tycoon who is buying up huge tracts of Mekong Delta marshland for a massive development scheme.

As the loose strands flashback to Vietnam, the string of official lies and mysterious allegiances build into a dark picture of the US-Japan postwar alliance.

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English translation available

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