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Although many police procedural mystery novels may appear to reflect realism, most authors only touch on a fraction of the time and shoe leather typically devoted to a real investigation. In “Newcomer,” author Keigo Higashino challenges the conventional wisdom, adopting an approach that underscores his skills as a master of the genre.

The mystery involves the murder of Mineko Mitsui, a 45-year-old divorcee who was seen in a park near her home a short time before her death. Various items found in her small apartment are traced to several traditional shops and a restaurant in the nearby shitamachi (old downtown) neighborhood in Nihonbashi.

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