The new title of “Tokyo Express” doesn’t quite do Seicho Matsumoto’s original justice. Though undoubtedly noir — evocative of films such as “The 39 Steps,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” even the 1963 James Bond movie “From Russia With Love,” among other train-featuring thrillers — its new English title doesn’t particularly mean anything within the context of the book.

Tokyo Express, by Seicho Matsumoto,Translated by Jesse Kirkwood.160 pagesPENGUIN CLASSICS, Fiction.

The Japanese title, “Ten to Sen” (literally, “Points and Lines”), is more accurate in terms of the action, or rather the meticulously planned lack of action, within its pages. Nor does “Tokyo Express” quite express the sheer magnitude of the story. I say lack of action, but that’s not to say the book is dull or slow-moving. Far from it. Often cited as Matsumoto’s masterpiece — quite a feat considering the 1958 book was his first published novel (and at the age of 40, too) — it’s a twisting tale of obsessively planned details and the logic, not to mention perseverance, it takes to unravel the truth.