In a rocky cove in the bay of Hakata, the bodies of a young and beautiful couple are discovered. Stood in the coast's wind and cold, the police see nothing to investigate: the flush of the couple's cheeks speaks clearly of cyanide, of a lovers' suicide. But in the eyes of two men, Torigai Jutaro, a senior detective, and Kiichi Mihara, a young gun from Tokyo, something is not quite right. Together, they begin to pick at the knot of a unique and calculated crime...
Now widely available in English for the first time, Tokyo Express is celebrated around the world as Seicho Matsumoto's masterpiece - and as one of the most fiendish puzzles ever written.
Tokyo Express is an irresistible Hitchcockian gem: a fiendishly-plotted crime novel told in crisp, elegant prose -- Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
Japan's Agatha Christie. A gloriously complex case of a supposed double suicide that, at just 160 pages, you can whizz through in a day. -- Laura Hackett ― The Sunday Times
This classic of postwar Japanese crime fiction was banned in its day for its 'decadent western ideas'. Now, the fascinatingly detailed investigations of Inspector Torigai echo those of Simenon's Maigret in a pared-down narrative shot through with political critique ― Financial Times
A labyrinth of convincing alibis and false leads... Matsumoto's classic status is richly deserved ― Daily Mail
The appearance in English of Japanese crime classics such as Seicho Matsumoto's Tokyo Express is long overdue ― The Sunday Times, Best Crime Books of 2023
The debut novel of bestselling writer Seicho Matsumoto, first published in Japan in 1958 and never out of print, is an ingeniously plotted railway mystery ― Guardian
Seicho Matsumoto's brief and perennially popular Tokyo Express is a masterpiece of concision and tight plotting. . . exceptionally well paced and palpably tense, both features admirably preserved by Jesse Kirkwood in this fresh translation -- Bryan Karetnyk ― TLS
Tense, enigmatic, thrillingly weird - a glorious find -- Kevin Barry, author of Night Boat to Tangier
An absolute corker of a read -- so brilliantly shrouded in mystery that it was impossible to put it down -- Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me
A fiendishly complex case.A deep understanding of human nature drives this intricately plotted masterpiece of Japanese crime writing. A timely and welcome opportunity for a new generation to discover Seicho Matsumoto -- Brian McGilloway, author of The Empty Room
The Simenon of Japan. . . a legendary writer ― Le Monde
Matsumoto is a necessity, reading him is like having a bowl of rice you never get tired of -- Masato Ara
About the Author
Seicho Matsumoto was born in 1909 in Fukuoka, Japan. Self-educated, Matsumoto published his first book when he was forty years old and he quickly established himself as a master of crime fiction. His exploration of human psychology and Japanese post-war malaise, coupled with the creation of twisting, dark mysteries, made him one of the most acclaimed and best-selling writers in Japan. He received the prestigious Akutagawa Literary Prize in 1950 and the Kikuchi Kan Prize in1970. He died in 1992.