So-called foreigner-in-Japan novels can set cliche alarm bells ringing, so when a book as exciting and original as Nicholas Hogg’s “Tokyo” comes along, it takes a moment to recalibrate expectations. And it’s not the last time Hogg wrong-foots his readers — this slow-boil thriller is designed to unsettle.

Ben Monroe is a British psychologist at the University of Tokyo. He convinces his estranged daughter, Mazzy, to spend a semester at an international school in Tokyo. Dripping in teen-girl sarcasm, she flies out and quickly settles into a life of karaoke, multicultural friends and shopping excursions to Harajuku. On the surface “Tokyo” is a middle-class family drama, with its first-world problems set against a post-3/11 Tokyo, but bubbling underneath is a thick reservoir of noir.

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