This detective novel was engrossing. Our protagonist, Honma is a police officer on medical leave. He really has no authority whatsoever at this time and tries to concentrate on getting better but is restless. In comes his deceased wife's cousin's son whose fiancee has suddenly disappeared and needs help finding out what happened discreetly. As the investigation continues, things become rapidly complicated.
The pacing of this story is a bit uneven. The beginning starts out very slow and continues at a slow pace as a lot of exposition is done -- not that I'm complaining. I find the whole explanation of the family registry as well as the whole financial discussion completely fascinating though it does slow the pacing of the story significantly. Yet, I don't see a way around it either.
The characters are well-rounded. While not necessarily the most decent people, they are real and imperfect. They also don't fit neatly into biased preconceptions that is constantly being challenged. In some ways, it is also a treatise about how people can be led astray as well as driven to desperation. However, it also doesn't relinquish the responsibility of the choices one makes either.
I recommend this novel if you are in the mood for a good solid detective story without any flashy gimmicks.