Hideo Yokoyama knows a thing or two about crime. After all, the author spent 12 years on the police beat at a regional newspaper in Gunma Prefecture.

Yokoyama, best known for his bestselling 2013 novel “Six Four,” enjoys both popular success and critical acclaim in Japan and abroad for his crime fiction. And as with any good crime writer, readers can expect the unexpected when diving into his work. His newest release in English (translated by Louise Heal Kawai), “The North Light,” subverts every aspect of the crime genre, yet nevertheless engages and thrills.

Though there is a missing family, a private detective asking questions and a mysterious death, the novel unfolds without the typical page-turning impetus of a thriller. What emerges instead is a quietly moving journey through one man’s psychological growth.