Tokyo Redux by David Peace
The ‘trouble’ with David Peace’s terrific Tokyo Trilogy is that you’re grabbed by the throat and flung into the centre of numerous murky goings on that nearly but never quite make it to the kind of pat, self-satisfied resolutions other crime books provide. It’s never been easy trying to solve the cases his well-intentioned, close-to-the-edge misfits can’t solve, even when clues are scattered about, clues that always seem to keep you within touching distance of the truth but no closer. So don’t expect Tokyo Redux, the final novel in the trilogy, to necessarily tie up the many loose ends that have been dangling in front of your face during the downbeat journey that first started in Tokyo Year Zero. What a journey though. A haunting trip through the dark criminal history of Japan post occupation. A slickly written experiment in factional writing, whose intention is surely to reassess the cases via a cast of corrupt (and not so corrupt characters) who David Peace brilliantly orchestrates throughout. No surprise then that Tokyo Redux, the final book in the trilogy, now in paperback, posits a question that will lead the reader into a further submersion in the murky world of post-war Japanese criminality: Why does the head of the national railway go missing just after he makes 30,000 employees redundant? Unsurprisingly all wont quite be relieved in this further visit to occupied Japan as occupiers, occupied and the guilty working both sides of the line attempt to further muddy the already murky waters in the hope that the ends eventually justify the means. The one thing that Tokyo Redux does prove, however, is that David Peace continues to be one of the best literary edge-walkers bar none.
Tokyo Redux – David Peace – publ. by Faber - £8.99