Return to Hiroshima
1995, Japan struggles with a severe economic crisis. Fate brings a number of people together in Hiroshima in a confrontation with dramatic consequences. Xavier Douterloigne, the son of a Belgian diplomat, returns to the city, where he spent his youth, to come to terms with the death of his sister. Inspector Takeda finds a deformed baby lying dead at the foot of the Peace Monument, a reminder of Hiroshima’s war history. A Yakuza-lord, rumored to be the incarnation of the Japanese demon Rokurobei, mercilessly defends his criminal empire against his daughter Mitsuko, whom he considers insane. And the punk author Reizo, obsessed by the ultra-nationalistic ideals of his literary idol Mishima, recoils at nothing to write the novel that will “overturn Japan’s foundations”….
Hiroshima’s indelible war-past simmers in the background of this ultra-noir novel. Clandestine experiments conducted by Japanese Secret Service Unit 731 during WWII become unveiled and leave a sinister stain on the reputation of the imperial family and the Japanese society as a whole.
e-book amazon.co.uk: https://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B079NL7FNN/ref=nosim/authordatabase
e-book amazon.fr: https://www.amazon.fr/Return-Hiroshima-Bob-Van-Laerhoven/dp/9881493889
Author Bio –
A fulltime Belgian/Flemish author, Laerhoven published more than 35 books in Holland and Belgium. Some of his literary work is published in French, English, German, Slovenian, Italian, Polish, and Russian. Three time finalist of the Hercule Poirot Prize for Best Mystery Novel of the Year with the novels “Djinn”, “The Finger of God,” and “Return to Hiroshima”; Winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize for “Baudelaire’s Revenge,” which also won the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category “mystery/suspense”.
His collection of short stories “Dangerous Obsessions,” first published by The Anaphora Literary Press in the USA in 2015, was hailed as “best short story collection of 2015” by the San Diego Book Review. The collection is translated in Italian, (Brazilian) Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish. “Retour à Hiroshima”, the French translation of “Return to Hiroshima,” is recently finished. In 2018, The Anaphora Literary Press published “Heart Fever”, a second collection of short stories. Heart Fever, written in English by the author, is a finalist in the Silver Falchion 2018 Award in the category “short stories collections”. Laerhoven is the only non-American finalist of the Awards.
Social Media Links –
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G89ns-UgCzk
Author social media links:
www.bobvanlaerhoven.com (Russian website for Месть Бодлера, the Russian edition of Baudelaire’s Revenge)
I enjoyed the book and thought it was wonderfully laid out. However I did find it slightly confusing as so many characters.
The jumping around really set the tone of the book and I was pleased overall with the book.
I really enjoyed the setting as I love being immersed in another country as you get to see it through the minds of those who live there.
This was wonderfully written and even with my confusion I can’t help bit enjoy the writing as well as the story that the author is able to tell.
I liked inspector Takeda and thought he was so well written. The author has such a great ability to write that i was heavily into the story.